Opposition Center Party MP Lauri Laats said in a press release on Monday that the introduction of the car tax will encourage more and more end-of-life vehicles appearing on Estonia’s roads.
The MP also described the timing of the introduction of the car tax by the governing coalition as the worst ever.
“At a time when people’s purchasing power is declining and consumers don’t feel they have the resources to shop and companies are afraid to invest, the priority should be on the well-being of residents, not on additional obligations,” Laats said, commenting on a reply made by Finance Minister Mart Vorklaev to a question earlier on Monday.
The MP said the minister of finance doesn’t understand that where in Tallinn and its surroundings it is possible to go about daily business in a small car with a low environmental footprint, in rural areas a vehicle with greater engine power is often a must. To do away with free regional public transport, which has been well accepted by residents, and to simultaneously burden people with a car tax, shows an arrogant attitude. The car tax leaves people with less money and directly affects their livelihoods, he said.
Laats said the finance minister’s claim that the purpose of the new tax is to discourage motorization is far-fetched and doesn’t take into account the needs of residents of rural areas.
“I haven’t noticed that there’s congestion or air pollution above the permitted limit on the streets of small towns. Given the rising cost of living, it’s not a very good idea to recommend people to buy a new and environmentally friendly car. In Estonia, the numbers of people living in relative poverty and bankrupt companies are growing, whereas the government does not have an economic policy and instead goes down the path of the least resistance and deprives residents of their last savings,” he said.
(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)