Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I've got a few posts up on Th!nk About It; the voting period is ended now, but you can go ahead and read them.

Recent tomfoolery in Estonia: the government is actually running out of money after all - apparently not in a catastrophic way, but enough to worry about the Maastricht criteria. Since the coalition's entire reputation has been staked on getting the Euro, the PM is scrambling. Ansip briefly suggested delaying the increase in unemployment benefits that comes with the new labour bill, before relenting in the face of a universal fuck no. The new suggestion is to stop payments into the second-stage pension scheme (2% of brute salary is matched by 4% from the state and goes into a private investment fund). Frees up a bunch of cash for the state, actually decreases the tax burden on the workers, and at this point it's not like anyone trusts the investment wanks with their hard-earned anyway.

Andres Lipstock wrote an essay on the economy. It's good, though long. The dude is the head of the Estonian central bank; if we do get the Euro by the end of 2010 (and Ansip is making surprisingly bold noises about it), Lipstock is well-positioned to take credit for it in the next parliamentary elections, which will happen... oh, look at that - spring 2011. I can definitely see Lipstock running as Reform's Number One.

1 comment:

Jim Hass said...

Singapore raises and lowers contributions into the "Central provident fund" the government retirement savings scheme, according to the unemployment risk. I don't know how well this works, but they are generally quite successful economically.
The social tax is the highest revenue item in the central government budget. In Russia this is capped. Low taxes and low benefits.


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