Gallery and video: taxpayer fuels fancy cars for Riigikogu
Costs compensation a leasing blessing

As revealed by fresh report by Chancellery of the Riigikogu, many at parliament draw from compensations to sport costly cars. «Fair and just?» we asked them. 

The costs report shows showing off cars is cost item No 1. At Riigikogu, the average monthly car payment is €400–€500.

As an example of that, soc dem Tanel Talve draws €500 of monthly compensation to lease a Dodge Ram 1500 which covers not the entire payment. «The taxpayer does also pay my salary so as that’s the prescribed system and the opportunity available I see no problem for specific purpose use of these things,» said Mr Talve.

Eerik-Niiles Kross (Reform) covers leasing costs out of salary and uses the compensation not. Meanwhile, he sees no ill in the habit. «It’s a bit difficult for me the eagerness of Estonians to keep peeking into other people’s purses. Of course a Riigikogu member is representative of the people and costs compensation is taxpayer money that is used. But as this is for spending purposes, it would indeed be a bit hypocritical if no-one would use it,» said Mr Kross.

President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (Soc Dems) remained neutral regarding the subject – on the one hand, he thinks this is something for everyone’s conscience. On the other hand, he realises it will be up to voters to judge whether the options are used prudently or not.

Pursuant to law Riigikogu rank-and-file are compensated up to 30 percent of salary. The first half year ceiling was €3,368. 

All told, €223,031 was used up, the lion’s share i.e. €158,065 was to cover transportation, followed by representation and reception expenses (€31,806), communication and postal costs (€18,565),  office expenses (€5,867), accommodation (€4,305) and mission expenses (€2,646).

The tiniest sums were drawn to cover costs of training and translation – €1,208 and €570, respectively.