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Freezing salaries deemed unconstitutional

  • 2009-02-23
  • TBT staff

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves has signed into law the 2009 negative supplementary budget and amendments.

TALLINN-

As a result of the ruling of the SupremeCourt, which ordered the freezing of parliament members' pay unconstitutional,factions of the parliament want to cut their deputy expenses accounts more thanbefore.

Vaino Linde, the Reformist chairmanof the standing constitutional committee, told BNS that the factions would filea joint motion of amendments to the bill that would have cut the expenseaccounts by half.

According to the newproposal the expense account would be lowered by further 5 percentage points to10 percent of the members' of parliament pay.

The parliament pressservice reported that speaker Ene Ergma expressed the hope that the proposalfor further cutting the expense account would be supported in theConstitutional Committee.

"In the presentcomplicated financial situation of the state it is necessary to revise allexpense items, including expense accounts. The factions' unanimous decision isto contract the means allocated for the compensation of expenses connected withthe members' of parliament work by two thirds," she said.

Current expenses connected tomembers' of parliament work are compensated at about 30 percent of their pay orup to 14,724 kroons a month (EUR 941).

As another amendment, thebill will repeal provisions of the act for members of parliament, which grantsthe right to deputies to take a personal assistant.

A covering letter to thebill states that the amendments are triggered by the generally unfavorableeconomic situation in Estonia, making it necessary to economize.

The bill will have itssecond reading on Feb. 24 and third reading on Feb. 25.