At its sitting today, the Riigikogu discussed the motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, submitted by 30 Members of the Riigikogu.
The motion of no confidence did not find support. 36 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour and 55 voted against. The motion required at least 51 votes in favour.
Member of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party faction Mart Helme, who submitted the motion, said that for the past five months the submitters have watched politics in Estonia move down a path that calls for an uncompromising parliamentary response.
“The current government is knowingly causing damage to the Republic of Estonia, which is why Kaja Kallas has lost our confidence as the leader of the government,” the motion states. “Under the leadership of Kaja Kallas, the government formed by the Reform Party and the Centre Party has gambled away the conditions that the previous government had created for the benefit of economic development and enhancement of Estonia’s defence capability.”
The submitters of the motion estimate that the government has made a number of incompetent decisions in economic policy which damage Estonian businesses, rural development, and national security – the short and long term wellbeing of every Estonian. The motion accuses Prime Minister Kallas of halting the development of Estonia’s defence capability, and proving herself an incompetent leader in the resolution of the corona crisis as well.
Prime Minister fended off the accusations levelled against her, explaining that when she entered office she found the state budget in an appalling condition. “I was shocked to discover how irresponsibly and offhandedly empty promises had been made for the future,” Kallas said. “The public sector consolidated debt had reached nearly five billion euros by the end of the year. The debt doubled compared to 2019. This is also the highest indicator of the last 20 years,” Prime Minister said.
“My government is honest. My government will not draft a budget strategy with empty cuts, and we will not pretend to,” Kallas said. “In the conditions of a recovering economy and partially supported by this, we will reduce the budget deficit by more than 500 million because sound public finances lay better foundations for preparing for possible future setbacks and crises, and ensure us a strong economy and a wealthy life.”
Kallas emphasised that the government will respect its promise of tax peace. “The tax burden will remain around 33 percent for the next four years. In 2021, it is 35 percent,” she said.
The Prime Minister confirmed that the defence spending will increase by 59.4 million euros in 2022, and will remain higher than this year for the whole state budget strategy period. Kallas added that allied relations with NATO and USA are a priority for the government.
Kallas then answered the questions of the MPs about her actions as the Prime Minister.
During the debate, Henn Põlluaas (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa), Jürgen Ligi (Reform Party), Indrek Saar (Social Democratic Party), and Imre Sooäär (Centre Party) took the floor on behalf of their factions.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)
The video recording of the sitting will be available on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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