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Finance Minister proposes diverting 12 million euros for demographic measures

Dana Reizniece-Ozola/flickr.com/Finance Ministery.
It may be possible to divert twelve million euros to demographic measures next year, says Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Last week, coalition partners failed to reach an agreement regarding next year’s budget because the National Alliance wanted eighty five million euros for demographic measures. Still, next year’s fiscal space is only eighty million euros.

Finance Minister admits that a solution was voiced at the 4 September coalition meeting – to allocate twelve million euros for demographic measures.

According to Reizniece-Ozola, this amount is intended to double benefits for the third child – from EUR 34.14 to EUR 65.86, as well as for every fourth and following child – from EUR 50.07 to EUR 65.86. Larger funding may be diverted in 2020.

«It will prove to be a major support for families and a signal that the support programme for children will be realized. It is also a reasonable and fiscally responsible proposal, seeing as how there is no way to support proposals that involve reviewing taxes or duties. Especially now that we’ve made a promise to not raise taxes for budget needs,» said the minister.

Reizniece-Ozola says the budget should be made responsibly. Which is why the government «cannot allow to give in to pre-election populism and the temptation to spend more than it can, especially considering that healthcare is next year’s budget priority».

Last week, politicians failed to reach an agreement on budget matters. This is largely because of the National Alliance’s proposal to allocate additional finances for demographic measures. Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said it is a normal budget formation process and that discussions will continue.

The National Alliance believes support for large families is vital, and that a breakthrough is needed, said NA co-chairman Raivis Dzintars. «Demography was one of the priority directions during the government formation process – it should be reflected in the budget,» he said.

«Rushing things is not our priority. A good outcome is our priority,» said Dzintars.


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