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The Riigikogu decided with 55 votes in favour (36 against) to authorise the candidate for Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas to form the Government. 

In his speech, Rõivas noted that times are complicated and therefore it is important to reiterate that the foreign and security policy of the Government coalition that is being established will continue on the current firm course. “We have agreed that defence spending is 2 per cent of the GDP of Estonia. Besides these 2 per cent, there are investments in connections that also ensure our security, in the form of transport possibilities for electricity, gas or people and goods,” Rõivas said. 

Rõivas explained that no Government can ignore the main problem of Estonia – the incomes, pensions and salaries of Estonian people are too low. We are still poor when compared to our northern neighbours. “The Government that is being established wishes to help in every way to restart the engines of the Estonian economy that has lost momentum and to speed up the growth of the incomes of the people. We wish to make the creation of jobs significantly less costly and to start the ambitious programme of reducing the taxes on labour force already with this Government,” Rõivas noted. 

A growing economy and a falling unemployment rate are also the foundation for an increase of pensions. “In 2015, we will raise the pension to the maximum indexation rate and ensure that the average old-age pension continues to be exempt from income tax. In order to ensure a sustainable growth of pensions also in the future, equal attention needs to be paid to growth-friendly economic policy as well as steps to increase employment,” Rõivas explained. 

In Rõivas’s words, wealth is born only through entrepreneurship. “I very much respect the people who dare to dream big, to undertake and take risks. It is for the state to create an environment that would encourage the starting of business and creation of jobs namely in Estonia. Also for the undertakings who wish to conquer the world,” Rõivas said. 

According to Rõivas’s explanations, the new Government will continue the implementation of the important reforms that were initiated by the previous Government: the school network reform and the higher education reform, the reform of the capacity for work and the reform of the needs-based family benefits, the reform of transition to subject training in Estonian and other reforms. 

“To dwell upon just one of them, the reform of the capacity for work has the potential to be the biggest reform in the social sphere in the last decade, but what is much more important, the reform of the capacity for work has the potential to make the society healthier in every way. Equal opportunities in work and in participation in social life are a clear signal that everybody is expected to benefit from Estonia’s success,” Rõivas said. “It is our aim to make the management of the state more open and flexible,” Rõivas underlined. 

“The financial impact of our decisions on the budget of 2015 will be 172.1 million euro, according to the calculations of the Ministry of Finance, and the amount of the sources for covering them is exactly the same. Or, in other words, these decisions will not change the balance position of the government sector. Soundness of the financial matters of the state continues to be the basis for everything and this Government will continue with a balanced budget policy,” Rõivas stressed. 

During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor. 

Photos: http://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/2014/Riigikogu/roivas/

The Riigikogu Press Service