Estonian math

  • 2003-12-18
Why are the Estonian people shooting themselves in the foot financially?They have a flat tax system (currently set at 26 percent proposed to drop to 24 percent), meaning that most people pay more than they would under a progressive tax system, where the wealthier pay more.

For example, when my salary in the U.S.A. was $42,000, my tax rate was 15 percent (of "adjusted income"). Yet in Estonia the party promoting progressive taxation does not even get into the government.
In your Nov. 13 issue (TBT #383 "Estonia in brief"), you reported that 67 percent of Estonians surveyed supported a flat parental allowance, rather than the government's proposed allowance tied to income - which again would result in more money for the majority, especially for those who need it most.
On the other hand, a teacher's strike has been called on salary issues: the union sensibly wants an equal kroon increase for everyone, giving those at the bottom a larger percentage increase than those higher up - yet here the government wants a percentage increase! Why does the government care? In all these cases, the total pot remains the same. To the union, it should just say, "Here is the total amount of money; you decide how to divide it amongst yourselves."
Are Estonians numerically illiterate?
Tom Pendleton, Riga


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