Tue. May 28th, 2024

The country on war footing planning a ‘security tax’ as it fears Russia may strike soon

Samantha Parker By Samantha Parker May19,2024

Estonia, one of the Baltic states, has raised alarm bells in recent months about a perceived increased hostility from the Kremlin, as the war between Ukraine and Russia continues to rage.

The outgoing head of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF), General Martin Herem, said earlier this week defence spending in the country should rise in the coming year for Estonia to be ready to either deter or counter a Russian attack.

The Estonian Minister of Finance, Mart Võrklaev, argued ramping up defence spending to the levels proposed by General Herem would require tax changes and a move towards a “broad-based security tax”.

He told the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR): “Looking at the state of our state budget and the expenses we spend on national defence, broad-based security – internal security, Estonian-language education, the social sector – we need additional tax revenues.

“For this, it is reasonable and necessary to make a broad-based security tax.

“Of course, this tax base cannot be taken from anything other than existing or similar tax collection instruments.”

A similar plan would not be implemented for years, “because the economy is still recovering”, he explained.

He added: “But looking at our committed spending from 2026 onwards, I don’t think we can do it any other way.” The size of this extra tax burden is yet to be determined.

Mr Võrklaev’s comment came just days after General Herem, set to step down in June, said defence spending should, over the next few years, become significantly higher than the current 3.2 percent of the Estonian GDP.

Defence experts in the country believe Estonia needs at least €1.5billion (£1.29bn) worth of ammunition, an amount the general said would be adequate to be able to carry out long-distance assaults against the infrastructure of an invading Russia.

He said on April 22: “In the next few years, the defence budget should be significantly higher than it is now, and then it can be a bit lower again, because we know how much goes to procurement and how much goes to maintenance. It should not be five percent for the next 10 years, maybe five percent for the next two years and then a little lower.”

Estonia may be facing a Russian attack in just years, the general added.

He said: “When Russia comes out of Ukraine, it will take a few years to prepare. I think we may not have more than three years. We have done the calculations, but we are 1.5 billion munitions short.”

Many defence experts have raised fears Russia could attack another European nation, and even a NATO member, in the next few years, especially if it is successful in Ukraine.

In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Western fears of another invasion as “drivel”.

Samantha Parker

By Samantha Parker

Samantha is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth behind the headlines. With years of experience in investigative reporting, she has covered a wide range of topics including politics, crime, and entertainment. Her in-depth analysis and commitment to factual accuracy make her a respected voice in the field of journalism.

Related Post

2 thoughts on “The country on war footing planning a ‘security tax’ as it fears Russia may strike soon”
  1. In my opinion, it is crucial for Estonia to prioritize national defense and be prepared for any potential threat. Implementing a broad-based security tax may be necessary to ensure the safety and security of the country. I support the idea of allocating additional tax revenues for internal security, education, and social sectors to strengthen the overall defense capabilities.

  2. I firmly believe that in times of escalating threats and security risks, it is crucial for a nation to prioritize defense spending and be prepared for any potential conflict. If Estonia aims to effectively deter or counter a Russian attack, investing in defense is a necessity. While implementing a broad-based security tax may pose challenges, ensuring the country’s security and stability should be a top priority for all. I support the government’s proactive approach towards enhancing national defense capabilities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *