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Freezing salaries deemed unconstitutional

Feb 23, 2009
TBT staff

Freezing salaries deemed unconstitutional
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 Supreme Court, which ordered the freezing of parliament members' pay unconstitutional, factions of the parliament want to cut their deputy expenses accounts more than before.

Vaino Linde, the Reformist chairman of the standing constitutional committee, told BNS that the factions would file a joint motion of amendments to the bill that would have cut the expense accounts by half.

According to the new proposal the expense account would be lowered by further 5 percentage points to 10 percent of the members' of parliament pay.

The parliament press service reported that speaker Ene Ergma expressed the hope that the proposal for further cutting the expense account would be supported in the Constitutional Committee.

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

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

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

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

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

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