Stenbock House, 22 December 2016 – Today, the Government approved its action programme, lasting until 2019, which aims to make Estonia stronger, more coherent, caring, and equal.
The Action Programme, which includes some 350 actions, is based on the 167 fundamental principles and priorities of the Coalition, and is aimed at maintaining and strengthening Estonia’s security, bringing the country out of economic stagnation, increasing well-being and coherence, and making population growth positive again.
In order to increase social well-being and coherence, the Government is planning to:
- implement income tax reform to stimulate the economy and reduce inequalities;
- implement pension reform in the light of the declining number of working aged people and the increasing share of the elderly;
- implement state and administrative reforms, increasing the income base of local governments, reviewing their duties and abolishing county governments;
- support the establishment of Estonian Language Houses in Narva and Tallinn, and improve the quality of Estonian language tutelage to learners with a different mother tongue;
- fight against the reproduction of statelessness; to this end, the Government will simplify the procedure for acquiring the Estonian citizenship for children born in Estonia;
- prepare a new Ida-Viru programme by April 2017.
In the field of foreign and security policies and national defence, the Government will:
- significantly increase the funding of external services and the attention paid to promoting Estonia’s security and economic interests;
- immediately define the initial priorities of Estonia’s EU presidency and ensure the successful organisation of the presidency starting from July 2017;
- maintain defence spending of at least 2 % of GDP in order to strengthen independent defence capabilities. The Government will also fund the investments required for the presence of allied forces in Estonia;
- support the strengthening of NATO defence and deterrence, and the continued presence of allied forces in Estonia;
- develop an additional national defence investment programme;
- complete building the most modern Eastern border of the EU;
- strengthen the local police network, in particular in rural areas;
- enhance Estonia’s crisis management capacity and the rapid-response capability of the police.
In the field of economic recovery, the Government will:
- increase government investments, including large-scale infrastructure investments, in order to improve the competitiveness of Estonia;
- increase exports and added value and the involvement of investments, including restructuring the work of Enterprise Estonia, and Kredex; and by implementing differences in taxation;
- continue Estonia’s e-success and the development and promotion of the e-State;
- develop measures to support investments in the housing stock of local governments;
- promote an higher overall labour force participation and contribute to improving the skills of those in the workforce;
- reduce the corporate income tax (from 20 % to 14 %) on the dividends paid regularly to legal persons;
- ensure a competitive tax and regulative environment for the industrial and services sectors;
- develop a red tape-free business account for the sales of services and goods;
- ensure the environment and conditions for the re-registration of cargo ships under the national flag of Estonia;
- list a number of state companies or sell holdings in companies;
- increase the funding of agriculture to the maximum rate of transitional support. The funding of crisis aid will also increase in 2017.
- contribute to the export of organic products and services;
- maintain a balanced budget position in structural terms.
In order to make population growth positive, the Government is planning to:
- develop a flexible parental leave and benefits system to support employment alongside childrearing;
- increase the allowance for families with multiple children to € 300, with effect from 1 July 2017, which means that each family with three or more children will receive at least € 500 from the state per month starting from next summer;
- increase excise duties on beer, fermented drinks, and wine; and introduce a tax on high sugar content drinks in order to reduce excessive consumption of alcohol and sugar;
- create conditions and opportunities for the development of flexible employment relations (remote work, temporary agency work, sharing economy, holding multiple jobs);
- motivate local governments to increase the salaries of kindergarten teachers to the school teachers’ minimum salary level;
- support the returning of expats to Estonia;
- make HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment more efficient.
Government of the Republic Action Programme 2016-2019: https://valitsus.ee/sites/default/files/content-editors/arengukavad/vabariigi_valitsuse_tegevusprogramm_2016-2019_kodulehele.xlsx