-What will happen with the wages?
In 2014, the average gross income for employees was €1,390. Due to the global oil price crisis, this year begun with large-scale lay-offs for us, and the staff that remained had shorter working week and salary cuts. The pre-cuts wages were restored at the beginning of second quarter. We are concentrating at keeping the wages at current level.
-Won’t Kohtla-Järve city government have to worry about income tax revenue shrinking?
Well they have to, indeed. We have over 2,100 on our payroll. In oil shale sector, there are three aspects: environmental protection, financial, and the socio-economic. Talking about the tax policy, in our case it has thus far rather been sought to get extra money from us for the state coffers with added taxes. A telling example of underestimating the financial and socio-economic effect is the closure of the Nitrofert plant leading to nearly 400 people losing their jobs. That has had an obviously negative effect on the state, the region, and the people who lost the jobs, and their families.
-For how long can VKG take the loss?
If oil price stays the same, the next vital variable is state’s tax policy. We have been seeking to have part of our taxes to be tied to oil price. That way we could survive the hard times, and in the good times the state could earn more and get a fairer price out of the energy from mineral resources.