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Timo Harakka (SDP) says the citizens’ initiative to abolish the gift and inheritance tax should have been considered appropriately in spite of lack of support from parliamentary parties. (Credit: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)
Timo Harakka (SDP) says the citizens’ initiative to abolish the gift and inheritance tax should have been considered appropriately in spite of lack of support from parliamentary parties. (Credit: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

 

The Parliament’s Finance Committee has come under criticism for deciding not to draft a statement on a citizens’ initiative to abolish the gift and inheritance tax.

Members of the Finns Party, Green League, Left Alliance and Social Democrats on Tuesday lashed out at the government of making a “shameful” decision that undermines the significance of citizens’ initiatives – in spite of the fact that none of the four opposition parties are supportive of the idea of abolishing the tax.

Timo Harakka (SDP) claimed that the ruling parties thwarted the initiative to ensure they do not have to admit that they do not support abolishing the gift and inheritance tax. Members of the National Coalition, in particular, have stated that they would like to “get their hands” on the inheritance tax.

“The initiative would have deserved due consideration in the Parliament,” he said.

Timo Kalli (Centre), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Finance Committee, revealed that the ruling parties voted against drafting a statement on the initiative specifically on grounds that not a single party is supportive of the initiative.

“After the issue was discussed in the tax division [of the committee] and we heard a large group of experts, it became clear first of all that there isn’t a single parliamentary party that’d be ready to do away with the gift and inheritance tax,” he explained in an interview with Uusi Suomi on Tuesday.

He estimated that the issue should be on the agenda of the next coalition formation talks due to the widespread ramifications of the possible abolition.

The reluctance to meddle with the gift and inheritance tax also arises from the fact that the tax generates roughly 700 million euros a year in revenues for the central administration, a sum that would be difficult to replace, admitted Kalli.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi