TALLINN - The Estonian Social Democratic Party (SDE) aims to decrease health costs and increase old-age pension to 700 euros, spokespeople for the party said on Tuesday.
The party's objective for the coming years is to establish a social system which ensures a dignified and active retirement for the elderly and significantly decreases the work load of caregivers. Welfare of the elderly will also be increased by several intended changes to the pension system.
Chair of the Riigikogu social affairs committee Helmen Kutt said that Estonia's social system has to ensure that all people living in Estonia will be provided help and support if necessary.
"In order to make sure the caregiver will not become the one in need of assistance, we must notably alleviate the burden of care of long-term caregivers, who number around 40,000 in Estonia at the moment," Kutt said.
The party's intended expenditure on health care, too, should be feasible, Kutt said.
"The system of supplementary benefits for medicinal products launched by Social Democrats in 2017 has rendered prescription medicinal products much more affordable to people whose expenditure on pharmaceuticals is high; as the next step, we aim to raise compensation for dentures from the current 260 euros to 520 euros per three years," Kutt added.
Deputy chair of SDE Heljo Pikhof said that everyone has to be granted the opportunity to grow old with dignity.
"Social protection of the elderly requires a swift and decisive reform. We aim to launch a system which allows the elderly to live at their home for as long as possible and, if needed, guarantees them a place at a nursing home paid for with their pension," Pikhof said.
Social Democrats intend to facilitate elderly people's entry to the labor market and to help them remain employed by establishing a social tax incentive as well as by providing opportunities for upgrading their skills or retraining.
"If we want a more dignified pension in the future, we need to save more, there is no other option. In the states where pension is high, funded pensions cover over a half of all pension costs, I don't see why we should not have it the same way," speaker of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor said of future possibilities regarding the second pension pillar.
Social Democrats said that an increase in old-age pension needs to match the pace of wage growth and increase in prices, thus it needs to reach 700 euros in four years. Meanwhile, the party also intends to terminate unfair taxation of pensioners.