The Estonian Centre Party Faction, the Estonian People’s Union Faction and the Estonian Green Party Faction initiated an expression of no confidence in the Minister of Social Affairs Maret Maripuu. When submitting the document signed by 40 people, Vilja Savisaar said that serious inadequacies had become apparent in the social sphere during the recent months and therefore the initiations of the expression of no confidence found that Maret Maripuu was unsuitable for her office.
Maripuu said in her comment by way of explanation: “No one has raised any argument against the essential objectives of the policy implemented by the Ministry which I am directing. These are, first, the desire and need to use the taxpayers’ money purposefully and with maximum efficiency in the functioning of the social guarantees of the state. Second, the consequent urgent need to update the Estonian social protection system to meet today’s needs and to re-organise it with the help of the availabilities of the e-state such that everybody would get help and support based on their specific needs.” Maripuu apologised once more before all Estonian people who had been kept waiting for their supports for too long due to poor technical capacity of the Ministry and had had to suffer because of that. “I am sure that the Riigikogu will give fair consideration to both the essential objectives of the policy of the Ministry of Social Affairs which I am directing and the technical nonachievements in the pursuit of these objectives and will make a decision on that basis today,” said Maripuu.
The result of voting: 35 votes in favour, 51 against. The expression of no confidence was not supported.
After that, the Minister of Social Affairs Maret Maripuu made a political statement, announcing her coming resignation on 23 February, when the problems which had emerged would have been solved.
The Riigikogu passed with 91 votes in favour the Act on Repeal of § 75¹ of the European Parliament Election Act and on Amendments to the Members of the XII Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia and of the VII, VIII and IX Riigikogu Pension Act (363 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee. The Act repeals the provision according to which the salary of the members of the European Parliament from Estonia is paid from the state budget of Estonia. According to the Act, a Member of the Riigikogu who is elected to the European Parliament will not receive the old-age pension for a Member of the Riigikogu. The amendment of the Act is motivated by the Statute for Members of the European Parliament, adopted on 28 September 2005, which provides that, starting from the following composition, the salary of Members of the European Parliament is going to be paid from the budget of the European Union.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act and Associated Acts (399 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill regulates the merger of the functions of the Labour Market Board, operating within the area of government of the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, a public law agency. The activities of the Labour Market Board will be terminated.
The Riigikogu Press Service