The Riigikogu passed three Acts:
The Act on Amendments to the State Pension Insurance Act and Other Associated Acts (652 SE), initiated by the Government, which provides equal pensionable age for men and women and raises it to 65 years as of 2026, was passed with 50 votes in favour (40 votes against). The pensionable age will be raised by three months every year as of 2017. The purpose of the Act is to ensure adequacy and sustainability of the pension system. By raising the pensionable age by two years, the old-age pension paid is supposed to increase by 5–10% after 2026. At the same time, it means 15 000–20 000 additional working people after 2026 which in its turn will help partially mitigate the labour shortage resulting from reduction of the population of working age.
The Act is based on the objective set at the EU Council’s Barcelona Summit in 2002, to achieve a progressive increase of about 5 years in the effective average age at which people stop working, that is, to 65 years instead of the 59.9 years established in 2001. The majority of the European Union countries have set the objective to raise the pensionable age to 65 years and some countries have established the maximum of 67 years. In Estonia, the pensionable age for men is 63 years at present. For women, it will rise to 63 years in 2016.
The Act imposes an obligation on the Government to prepare by 2019 an analysis concerning the effect of the old-age pension age provided in this Act on the financial and social sustainability of the pension insurance system. The Government has an obligation to submit, as necessary, a proposal to the Riigikogu on alteration of the old-age pension age provided in the Act or on establishing a flexible old-age pension age.
The Act on Amendments to the European Union Common Agricultural Policy Implementation Act (701 SE), initiated by the Rural Affairs Committee, which enables also agricultural producers whose land has not been entered in the register of agricultural support and agricultural parcels to apply for support, was passed with 86 votes in favour.
The Act on Amendments to the Traffic Act and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (673 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee, which increases the economicality, speed and reliability of automatic traffic supervision and the subsequent written caution procedure, was passed with 89 votes in favour. The Act simplifies the procedure for electronic delivery of notices of fines to legal persons and agencies and, at the same time, minimises the possibilities of occurrence of mistakes in forwarding the notices of fines.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of ten Bills:
The Bill on Amendments to the Sports Act (678 SE), initiated by the Government, creates a provision delegating authority for founding a sports register and establishing the statutes of that register.
The Bill on Amendments to the Waste Act and the Earth’s Crust Act (700 SE), initiated by the Government, introduces to the Act the regulation concerning extractive waste, arising from the European Parliament and Council directives. They establish minimum requirements in order to prevent or reduce any adverse effects on the environment or on human health which are brought about as a result of the management of waste from the extractive industries.
The Bill on Amendments to the Pre-school Child Care Institutions Act (679 SE), initiated by the Government, eliminates the division of children staying at a pre-school child care institution into groups based on age and creates an opportunity to obtain a part-time place at a pre-school child care institution if the need for places at child care institutions exceeds the number of existing general places at child care institutions in the territory of a rural municipality or city.
The Youth Work Bill (676 SE), initiated by the Government, regulates the organisation of youth work in Estonia. As forms of youth work, the Bill regulates the activities of youth associations, youth centres and hobby schools, as well as extracurricular activities of general education schools, youth camps and youth programmes. Subjects of youth work include members of the society who are of 7 to 26 years of age.
The Bill on Amendments to § 831 of the Government of the Republic Act (706 SE), initiated by the Government, ensures economic use of the budget funds of the state and prevents the situation where a person convicted of an intentionally committed criminal offence during the term of office of a county governor has received a benefit from the state upon termination of the service relationship at the end of the term because criminal proceedings were still in process at the time of occurrence of that event.
The Bill on Amendments to the Maritime Safety Act and Associated Acts (653 SE), initiated by the Government, specifies the maritime safety requirements, and liability and fines in the event of violation of the Act. The Bill establishes several new state fees and specifies and updates the regulation concerning the raising of sunken property in the Merchant Shipping Code. The regulation concerning the raising of sunken property is extended, in addition to territorial waters, to the economic zone and on property sunken in navigable inland waters.
The Bill on Amendments to the Packaging Excise Duty Act and the Packaging Act (707 SE), initiated by the Government, provides the time of entry into force of the contract entered into between the payer of excise duty and the packaging recovery organisation, and the prohibition to retroactively transfer the obligations provided by the Act. Packagings taken on board of water craft or aircraft carrying out international travels will be exempt from deposit. The Bill specifies the classification of packaging material in the Act.
The Euro Adoption Bill (709 SE), initiated by the Government, brings the Estonian legal framework into conformity with the European Union law, in order that Estonia could adopt the single currency, the euro, presumably as of 1 January 2011. The Bill regulates the exchanging of the Estonian kroon to euro and removal of the kroon from circulation, the parallel circulation of the euro and the kroon, and provides the amendments in Acts that are necessary for transition from the Estonian kroon to the euro. The Bill is based on the principle that adoption of the euro as the account currency, in economic calculation and in contractual relationships will be carried out as an immediate sharp transition. In cash circulation, a two week period of parallel circulation of the kroon and the euro will be established as of the day of transition when the kroon and the euro will be equal means of payment in cash.
The State Fees Bill (721 SE), initiated by the Government, will ensure that Estonia is prepared for the transition to the euro. The Bill provides recalculation of all state fees charged in Estonia into euro. Recalculation of state fees into euro is based on the fundamental principle of the transition to the euro agreed in the Plan for Euro Changeover in Estonia according to which, in order to set a positive example to the private sector, taxes, state fees, benefits and other kroon amounts related to the budget will be rounded to euro in the more favourable direction for the people Among other things, the Bill increases the limit of state fee payments made in cash and allows to accept an amount of up to 10 euro (= 156.466 kroons) in cash, instead of the current 100 kroons.
The Bill on Amendments to the Broadcasting Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Law of Obligations Act (656 SE), initiated by the Government, creates the legal order for persons who process data for journalistic purposes and who therefore have the right to rely on the protection of sources. On the entry into force of the Act, such persons will have the right to refuse to provide explanations and statements if that may result in identification of the person who has provided information to him or her.
At Question Time, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip answered the question about the human development report, submitted by Kadri Simson, and the question about sustainable social development, submitted by Mai Treial. The Minister of Internal Affairs Marko Pomerants answered the question about dangerous transit cargo, submitted by Toomas Trapido, and the question about the capacity of the rescue service, submitted by Aivar Riisalu. The Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi answered the question about excise duties, submitted by Inara Luigas, and the question about the financing of local governments, submitted by Helle Kalda.
The sitting ended at 6.56 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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