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The Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi replied to the interpellation concerning fiscal policy decisions (No 543), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Toomas Varek, Kadri Simson, Valeri Korb and Aivar Riisalu on 23 November.
The interpellators wished to hear the Minister’s explanations concerning the impact of raising of the value added tax and excise duty rates and the budget cuts that have been made.
Ligi justified that consumer taxes are considered relatively innocent taxes. They are less harmful for economic growth. He stressed that domestic consumption certainly decreases during economic recession but the incomes of people actually decrease even more during economic recession and in this sense income taxes also pose a greater risk to the budget, according to theory. In Ligi’s words, preferring consumption taxes highlights the fact that it focuses resources and export. According to all theories, a serious chance for Estonia to exit the economic depression lies after all not in beginning to lend again but in export, explained the Minister. Taxes must provide the minimum tax revenue necessary for financing the state and, at the same time, lowering of income tax is a sure means of competition and booster economic growth but it must not be done in a way whereby loans grow. We are living on debt at present, we are eating our reserves and taking more loans, admitted Ligi. He stressed the aim of the activities of the Government to achieve budget surplus by 2013.
Ligi also replied to the interpellation concerning the activities of the Tax Board (No 549), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Inara Luigas, Lauri Laasi, Nikolai Põdramägi, Tiit Kuusmik, Arvo Sarapuu, Jaak Aab and Helle Kalda on 7 December.
President of Eesti Pank Andres Lipstok replied to the interpellation concerning premature selling of Estonian euro coins (No 540), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Jaak Aab, Kadri Simson, Kalle Laanet, Lauri Laasi, Inara Luigas and Helle Kalda on 22 November.
The Minister of Regional Affairs Siim Valmar Kiisler replied to the interpellation concerning pressurising of independent press (No 546), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Jüri Tamm, Kalev Kotkas, Eiki Nestor, Kalle Laanet, Hannes Rumm, Jaan Õunapuu and Heljo Pikhof on 25 November.
The Riigikogu Press Service