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Cigane: it’s important for Latvia to maintain fiscally responsible country’s reputation

Lolita Cigane/flickr.com/Saeima.
«Latvia has restored its reputation as a country that maintains strict fiscal discipline. Thereby Latvia becomes part of the Nordic countries, which consider fiscal discipline an important guarantee for state and economic development. We cannot afford to lose that by performing unreasonable reforms,» says Lolita Cigane, chairperson of Saeima’s European Affairs Committee.

On Wednesday, 19 April, European Affairs Committee took into account Finance Ministry’s information on Latvia’s stability programme for 2017-2020, BNN was told by Saeima’s press-service.
 

«One of the priorities for Latvia’s fiscal policy mentioned in the stability programme is the planned tax reform, to accomplish which Finance Ministry has established goals like reduction of inequality, growth and increase of tax proportion. At the moment, however, the tax reform is in design stage, and the fiscal influence of the planned measures is currently only provisional,» says Cigane.
 

The parliament notes that the goal of the stability programme is securing stricter budget discipline, monitoring and coordinating budget policy in Eurozone and the EU. Stability and growth pact states that EU member states have to prepare annual stability programmes and submit them to the European Commission every April.
 

It is concluded in Finance Ministry’s prepared stability programme that slower growth in 2016 had been dictated by the decline in investments and construction sectors. This year, however, these sectors are expected to experience recovery. Non-financial investments last year declined 24% last year.
 

Processing industry had grown rapidly at the end of 2016. Growth had reached 6.2% in the first two months. The reason for that was the growth in logging, machineries, computer and electronic equipment manufacturing, as reported by Saeima press-service.
 

Latvia’s goods exports had declined 0.2% last year. In January 2017, exports of goods had grown 13.3%. Finance Ministry notes that the structure of Latvia’s exports decreases in Russia’s direction and increases in Europe’s direction. Exports of services had increased by 5.1% last year.
 

The situation on the labour market remains stable, and increase of employment is limited by the decline of the number of residents of viable work age.
 

Last year, average gross wages in Latvia had grown 5%. Productivity, on the other hand, had remained low.

BNN

19-04-2017
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