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At Question Time, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas answered the question about tax burden from Mart Helme, and the question about fiscal policy from Marika Tuus-Laul.

Helme pointed out that a recent OECD study lists Estonia among the countries where the tax burden has increased the most compared to last year. He asked whether the government planned to take steps to slow down tax hikes and maybe even reverse these.

Rõivas explained that both during the year analysed in the report as well as the next year, the labour taxes will drop noticeably. These are the taxes that put the heaviest burden on the economy. He admitted that there would be a more or less similar rise in the taxation of hazardous consumption, especially in the form of alcohol and tobacco excise duties. Rõivas regards these changes in taxation as largely balanced. “Viewed separately, these do not have a major impact on the tax burden. The tax burden depends largely on the tax behaviour of businesses and individuals,” Rõivas explained.

He said that when the tax discipline of individuals and businesses improves, it increases the tax burden in the statistical sense, without an actual imposition of new taxes. “In this case, the tax burden has changed thanks to the much improved receipt of corporation tax, despite the fact that no changes have been made in the corporation tax rate. The fact alone that Swedbank paid out extraordinary revenue in the amount of EUR 100 million as single provision of profit will show up in statistics as a 100 million increase in tax burden, which amounts to about 0.5 % of the GDP. The actual tax rates did not increase. The company just decided to pay more taxes,” Rõivas explained.

The Prime Minister also answered the question of Jüri Adams about the opinion of the Ministry of the Interior on the Same Sex Partnership Act, the question of Peeter Ernits about the nomination of Juhan Parts to the European Court of Auditors, the question of Valeri Korb about redundancies in the Tartu University Hospital, the question of Viktor Vassiljev about income tax havens, and the question of Monika Haukanõmm about the unemployed status of board members of companies.

The Minister of Education and Research Jürgen Ligi answered the question of Aadu Must on research and development activities, the questions of Krista Aru about the implementation of and the compliance with the Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020, and about redundancies in the Ministry, as well as the question of Henn Põlluaas about maleducation in schools.

The Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu answered the question of Andres Herkel about restrictions on political activities.

Riigikogu Press Service

Gunnar Paal, +372 631 6351, +372 51 90 2837

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