The Riigikogu passed with 87 votes in favour the Transformation of Debts and Debt Protection Act (743 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee. The purpose of the Act is to enable to natural persons who have payment difficulties (debtors) transformation of their debts in order to overcome payment difficulties and to avoid bankruptcy proceedings. Legitimate interests of both the debtor and his or her creditors are taken into account in this process. Transformation is possible with all kinds of debt claims, including also partially the claims which have not yet fallen due with regard to which extension of the deadline for payment, allowing of the performance of an obligation in parts or reduction of debt obligations may be applied. The Act enters into force on 5 April 2011. The proceeding of transformation of debts is also applied in the case of obligations which have arisen before the entry into force of this Act. One member of the Riigikogu voted against the Act.
On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Assistant Police Officers Bill (633 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The Act provides the rights, obligations and the sphere of activity of assistant police officers with the aim of involving persons in the activities of the police in order to protect public order and to ensure social security. An assistant police officer is a person who participates in the activities of the police as a volunteer in his or her free time on the basis and pursuant to the procedure provided by law. Assistant police officers are not police officers. The Bill was sent to the third reading.
The second reading of the State Budget of 2011 Bill (822 SE) was adjourned. After comments by 30 Members of the Riigikogu, the voting of 127 motions to amend began. At the sitting which began at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, 89 motions to amend had been voted by 9.48 on Thursday morning. According to the Bill, the revenue of the state will increase by over 2%, that is, to 5.7 billion euro (89.4 kroons) next year. The increase of the revenue is connected to the increased accrual of the taxable revenue, the value added tax and social tax covering the largest share. The contribution of non-taxable revenue to the budget will reduce by nearly 4%, in comparison to 2010. The volume of the budget expenditure will increase by 5%, to 6 billion euro (94.2 billion kroons). The increase of the budget volume is due to the resumption of funded pension contributions and the increase of pension payments in connection with the growing number of pensioners, among other things. Education is a long-term priority in the budget and a next year’s priority, too, the growth amounting to nearly 8%. The growth of defence spending will increase to 1.9% of GDP and social sphere expenses will increase by 154 million euro. In 2011, the receipt of supports will increase by 12%, to 9.9 billion euro, including foreign supports which are planned to amount to 1 billion euro. The use of foreign support in comparison to 2010 will increase most in the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Social Affairs. Of the motions to amend the budget which were submitted, the Finance Committee supported the motion to maintain the salary of higher state servants at the level of 2010 until the end of the budgetary year 2011. The proposal to increase the subsistence level rate to 76.7 euro, that is, to slightly more than 1200 kroons per month also found support. The second reading of the budget of 2011 will continue at the sitting beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
At Question Time of the Riigikogu, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip answered the question about the price rise, submitted by Kadri Simson, and Jaan Kundla’s question about the organisation of the work of ministries.
The Minister of Culture Laine Jänes answered Peeter Kreitzberg’s question about the situation of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Evelyn Sepp’s question about social coherence.
The Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder answered Aleksei Lotman’s question about the situation of native breeds and Arvo Sarapuu’s question about equal opportunities in agriculture in the European Union.
The sitting which began at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, 17 November, ended at 9.48 a.m. on Thursday, 18 November.
18 November 2010
The Riigikogu Press Service