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Riigikogu

The Bill on Amendments to the State Budget Act (356 SE), initiated by the Government, will make amendments that are connected with the implementation of the Act on the State’s Supplementary Budget for 2021.

First, the possibility to conclude a contract under public law related to implementation of a domestic support programme at the expense of the funds of the area of government of a ministry will be extended to foundations whose founders include the state. Second, the Act will be amended by adding a new section to establish the general conditions for the support programmes intended to mitigate the crisis related to the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Two other Bills passed the first reading

The Bill on Amendments to the Health Services Organisation Act (355 SE), initiated by the Government, will establish the legal basis for the implementation of the measures relating to the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. The finances for the measures will be ensured with the state’s supplementary budget for 2021. Earlier, the payments to health care service providers and owners of ambulance crews for services provided under special conditions during emergency situation have come from the state budget through the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund on the basis of a Regulation of the Government of the Republic and within the limits of an amount planned for in the state budget to ensure the quality and availability of health care services. Likewise, earlier, funds have been allocated from the reserve fund of the Government of the Republic to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund to mitigate the impacts and consequences associated with the spread of the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease, and the reserve capital of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund has been used partially with the approval of the Government of the Republic.

The Bill on Amendments to the Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act and the Social Tax Act (360 SE), initiated by the Government.

The Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act will be amended in order that additional funds could be allocated additionally to the reserve provided for in the Act. The share of creative person engaged in a liberal profession in the creative sector as a whole has increased and the ways of working have changed as well. The target group without a fixed employer is one of the labour market participants in the cultural sector who have suffered most.

The Bill will enable supports for creative activity to be paid to a greater number of creative persons and, in connection with the coronavirus crisis, the conditions for applying for the support will also be mitigated temporarily. Support for creative activity is a support in the amount of the minimum remuneration (584) paid during six months.

The requirement that persons who have received the support for creative activity should not apply for a new support within two years will be eliminated until the end of 2021. Such persons will also be entitled to receive the support for creative activity in the case when they have received income, work ability allowance or pension for incapacity for work in an amount of up to one support for creative activity in the month preceding the payment of the support for creative activity. Similar amendments were also made to the Act a year ago with the amendments that entered into force in spring 2020 but they were in force during the emergency situation and six months after the end thereof.

Permanent amendments concern the bases for the formation of the support to a creative association. The amendment provides that, in exceptional cases, the reserve of the support for creative activity may be increased from the state budget or the funds allocated therefor by the Government if the amount allocated on the basis provided for by the Act is not sufficient to pay supports for creative activity to those who need help.

Another permanent amendment provides that the Ministry of Culture will process the applications for supports to creative activity by creative persons engaged in a liberal profession who are not members of any creative association, and the ministry will also pay the supports. Under the current Act, this is the responsibility of creative associations. In addition, the procedure for the payment of social tax in a situation where a creative person is a member of several artistic associations at the same time will be specified.

Marko Šorin (Centre Party) took the floor during the debate.

Minister of the Environment Tõnis Mölder replied to the interpellation concerning the violation of the State Borders Act in ship-to-ship operations (No 57) by Member of the Riigikogu Riho Breivel.

The interpellator noted that, according to the information received, ship-to-ship operations to transfer bulk cargo were continuing behind Pakri Islands, which threatened Estonia’s security and marine environment and was a clear sign that the activities of Estonian agencies were in conflict with the legal order, as there was no other way to interpret the continuing violation of the State Borders Act.

Mölder noted that ship-to-ship transfer of liquid bulk cargo had already been taking place for years. These operations have come sharply to the fore in the public this year.

Mölder refuted the interpellator’s position that Estonian agencies’ activities had been in conflict with the legal order as a relevant Government Regulation had been adhered to and the activities had taken place under legally issued permits. Thus, no violation of the state border has taken place.

The minister said that such activities behind Pakri Islands had now stopped until adoption of a new Government Regulation that would set out new rules and determine new anchoring sites.

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.)

Riigikogu Press Service 
Gunnar Paal, +372 631 6351, +372 5190 2837
gunnar.paal@riigikogu.ee

 

 

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