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Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation concerning mitigation of the electricity price increase (No 251), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Enn Eesmaa, Kadri Simson, Kalev Kallo, Lauri Laasi, Olga Sõtnik, Priit Toobal, Tarmo Tamm and Viktor Vassiljev on 20 November. 

The interpellators highlighted the sad fact that, in the recent times, Estonia has topped a certain ranking, namely, the inflation here has been the highest or one of the highest in the European Union. The interpellators wished to know if the Government was going to listen to Eesti Pank and to use the levers in their hands to mitigate the electricity price increase. 

Ansip explained that Estonia is currently one of the countries with the fastest rate of economic and salary growth in Europe. This inevitably brings along a faster price rise. In his words, the increasing growth of prices is also facilitated by the fact that the EU average price level continues to exceed the prices in Estonia by more than 25%. “Also, I have to stress once more that the increasing demand and limited resources make the further increase of energy prices inevitable in the whole world. In a longer term perspective, neither the use of shale gas nor other technological innovations, and let alone the reduction of energy taxes, will likely be able to stop it,” Ansip noted. In his opinion, daily habits have a greater impact on the electricity bills of our people, than the electricity excise duty and the value added tax together. In Ansip’s words, it is necessary to be mindful of one’s daily habits, to pay attention to the energy class when buying a household appliance or light bulbs, and to switch off the light when leaving a room. All this may save much more money than is spent on taxes. “Let it be said once again: saved electricity is the cheapest electricity,” the Prime Minister said. 

Ansip admitted that unfortunately it is impossible to use fiscal policy to effectively fight the rise of the price of electricity and other energy. In his opinion, energy prices would inevitably continue to rise even when they could be sold totally tax free. 

Prime Minister replied to four more interpellations. They were the following: 

the interpellation concerning the financing of the Office of the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner (No 213), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Aivar Riisalu, Eldar Efendijev, Ester Tuiksoo, Lauri Laasi, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Olga Sõtnik, Priit Toobal, Viktor Vassiljev and Yana Toom on 14 November; 

the interpellation concerning the population census (No 214), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Eldar Efendijev, Ester Tuiksoo, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Peeter Võsa, Viktor Vassiljev, Vladimir Velman and Yana Toom on 14 November; 

the interpellation concerning the secret trilateral meeting in Finland (No 250), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Heimar Lenk, Lauri Laasi, Marika Tuus-Laul, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Peeter Võsa, Priit Toobal, Valeri Korb, Viktor Vassiljev and Vladimir Velman on 15 November; 

the interpellation concerning the Public Procurements Act (No 255), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Kalev Kallo, Marika Tuus-Laul, Priit Toobal, Valeri Korb and Yana Toom on 10 December. 

The Minister of Justice Hanno Pevkur replied to the interpellation concerning supervision of security authorities (No 232), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Heimar Lenk, Marika Tuus-Laul, Priit Toobal, Tarmo Tamm, Valeri Korb and Vladimir Velman on 15 November. 

The Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi replied to the interpellation concerning exercise of supervision in connection with the procurement for the oil shale power plant of Eesti Energia (No 254), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Andres Anvelt, Eiki Nestor, Helmen Kütt, Jaak Allik, Jaan Õunapuu, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Kajar Lember, Kalev Kotkas, Rannar Vassiljev, Rein Randver and Sven Mikser on 7 December. 

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to the interpellation concerning the implementation of or termination of the performance of the ice breaking development plan for 2006‒2013 (No 225), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Aivar Riisalu, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Kalev Kallo, Lauri Laasi, Olga Sõtnik, Peeter Võsa, Tarmo Tamm, Viktor Vassiljev, Vladimir Velman and Yana Toom on 14 November. 

The Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas replied to two interpellations. They were the following: 

the interpellation concerning the financing of the health care system (No 229), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Marika Tuus-Laul, Peeter Võsa, Tarmo Tamm, Viktor Vassiljev, Vladimir Velman and Yana Toom on 14 November; 

the interpellation concerning the increase of the visit fee and the in-patient fee, and the repeated postponement of the increase of the unemployment allowance (No 236), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Mailis Reps, Marika Tuus-Laul, Peeter Võsa, Priit Toobal, Valeri Korb, Viktor Vassiljev and Vladimir Velman on 15 November. 

11 interpellations were withdrawn from today’s agenda. 

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Medicinal Products Act, the Penal Code and the State Fees Act (332 SE), initiated by the Government, was removed from the agenda for Wednesday’s sitting. 

During the open microphone, Aivar Riisalu took the floor. 

The sitting ended at 7.26 p.m. 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

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