At today’s sitting of the Riigikogu, the focus was on the proposal by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction to the Government to exempt from VAT medicinal products and medical supplies for disabled persons.
With the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Making a Proposal to the Government of the Republic to Initiate an Amendment of the Value-Added Tax Act” (653 OE), the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction made a proposal to amend § 15 of the Value-Added Tax Act and to tax a list of medicinal products and sanitary and hygiene products, and medical devices and technical aids intended for disabled persons, with a zero VAT under a regulation of the minister responsible for the field. According to the draft Resolution, the amendment would cost nearly 30 million euro.
The Finance Committee did not support the draft Resolution because a European directive prohibits establishment of a zero per cent VAT. The initiators of the draft Resolution said that Estonia could apply for a specification in that issue or, as an alternative, replace the zero per cent VAT with for example a five per cent VAT by a draft.
During the debate, Jürgen Ligi (Reform Party), Peeter Ernits and Mihhail Stalnuhhin (Centre Party) took the floor.
Jürgen Ligi called on the members of the Riigikogu to vote against the draft Resolution because it was in conflict with the European Union tax policy. Peeter Ernits spoke in favour of the draft Resolution and said that reducing the VAT on medicinal products was the right idea. In his speech, Mihhail Stalnuhhin pointed out that the Estonian Health Insurance Fund was already providing compensation for many medicinal products in full or in a large part, as well as technical aids for disabled persons.
Six members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the draft Resolution of the Riigikogu, 19 were against, and there were two abstentions. The Resolution was not passed, and thus the draft Resolution was dropped from the legislative proceedings.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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