Today, the Riigikogu deliberated developing of business environment for increasing employment as a matter of significant importance. On behalf of factions, reports were presented by: the Estonian Centre Party Faction – Edgar Savisaar; the Estonian Reform Party Faction – Taavi Rõivas; the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction – Mart Laar; the Social Democratic Party Faction – Jüri Tamm; the Estonian Green Party Faction – Indrek Tarand; the Estonian People’s Union Faction – Karel Rüütli.
The Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar gave an overview of the creation of social jobs in Tallinn and he recommended that the state on its part also create and finance social jobs. Savisaar presented altogether eight proposals which, in his opinion, when implemented, would help mitigate unemployment both in Tallinn and elsewhere in Estonia.
The member of the Estonian Reform Party Faction Taavi Rõivas called to target thinking with a particular focus on business environment and he stressed that jobs which are necessary for the society and create added value can only emerge and exist with the influence of the market. Rõivas pointed out increasing and maintaining of the reliability of the Estonian state and he noted that the feeling of security is based on an economical and wisely managing state.
Chairman of the Estonian People’s Union Faction Karel Rüütli stated that, in view of the need to support internal demand, cutting of social costs for balancing the state budget is economically harmful. Pensions, family benefits, benefits for disabled persons and other social benefits stimulate the Estonian economy directly and immediately through consumption. In Rüütli’s opinion, rural areas have to be linked with centres of attraction through efficient public transport networks and the capacity of local governments has to be strengthened by increasing their revenue base. Rüütli stressed the necessity of development activities in rural areas as well as the key role of education in overcoming the crisis.
In his report, Member of the European Parliament Indrek Tarand touched on the legal problems hindering the development of the business environment, as well as the necessity of a future-oriented education reform.
As one means of enhancing the competitiveness of the business environment, Chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction Mart Laar saw making the Estonian budgetary policy sustainable. Laar explained that we have to keep at least one per cent budget surplus throughout the whole economic cycle, set an expenditure ceiling for longer than one budgetary period for the central government and introduce the necessary mechanisms in order to keep local government budgets balanced. Laar also stressed the need to lower tax burden and activise start-up subsidies programmes.
The member of the Social Democratic Party Faction Jüri Tamm presented the position of the social democrats according to which the ultra-liberal economic policy must stop in Estonia. He called on the Government to intervene more actively in the event of incapacity of monetary policy. As one possibility, Tamm mentioned establishment of temporary tax incentives upon increase of investments and, in a longer perspective, making substantive fiscal policy amendments such as establishment of a three-grade personal income tax. Tamm also attached importance to powerful promotion of energy saving programmes.
Many questions were asked of the presenters.
Comments were presented by Members of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor, Aivar Riisalu, Valdur Lahtvee, Urmas Klaas, Mark Soosaar and Tarmo Mänd.
The Riigikogu passed with 57 votes in favour the Resolution on the appointment of members of the Supervisory Board of the National Opera (685 OE), submitted by the Cultural Affairs Committee. Pursuant to the Resolution, Members of the Riigikogu Urmas Reinsalu, Imre Sooäär and Ester Tuiksoo were appointed to the Supervisory Board of the National Opera. Nobody voted against the Resolution, one member of the Riigikogu abstained.
Due to the end of the working hours of the plenary sitting of the Riigikogu, the first reading of the Draft Resolution “Formation of the Committee of Investigation of the Riigikogu for Investigation of the Circumstances of Building of the Victory Monument of the War of Independence” (668 OE), submitted by the Estonian Centre Party Faction and the Estonian People’s Union Faction, was adjourned.
For more details, read the verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):
The Riigikogu Press Service