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Latvian ministries request additional EUR 1.1 billion in next year’s budget

Māris Kučinskis, Prime Minister/flickr.com/Saeima.
In spite of the forecasted negative fiscal space, Latvia’s ministries request an additional amount of EUR 1.1 billion for budget priorities in 2019, according to information compiled by Finance Ministry.

The ministry adds that compiled information may include technical inaccuracies, which will be fixed later. It is also likely that ministries will have found and corrected finances for priorities by the time the budget has been compiled.

Last year, Latvia’s ministries requested nearly EUR 760 million for budget priorities. In April 2018, Finance Ministry reported that expected budget expenditures in 2019 would be around EUR 6.73 billion, which meant an increase of EUR 75.5 million in comparison to the expenditures previously forecasted for 2019.

Finance Ministry’s compiled information without additional budget requests for 2019 shows that the largest portion of requested funding – EUR 431.39 million – is required by Healthcare Ministry. Transport Ministry follows with EUR 136.2 million, and Education and Science Ministry with EUR 106.3 million.

Interior Affairs Ministry requires EUR 103.15 million as additional finances in the 2019 state budget plan. EUR 69.27 million is required by Welfare Ministry, and EUR 40.29 million is required by Economy Ministry.

Justice Ministry requires EUR 54.57 million, Agriculture Ministry requires EUR 26.8 million, Environment Ministry requires EUR 25.65 million, and Culture Ministry requires EUR 17.05 million.

Foreign Affairs Ministry requires EUR 12.84 million and Finance Ministry will require EUR 11.35 million.

Defence Ministry has not submitted additional budget requests for 2019 state budget.

Latvia’s radio and television have requested additional budget funding of EUR 3.78 million, the prosecutor’s office – EUR 1.96 million, Supreme Court – EUR 1.35 million, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau – EUR 1.05 million, Cabinet of Ministers – EUR 547,569, Constitutional Court – EUR 445,020, State Audit – EUR 329,928, and the Ombudsman’s Bureau – EUR 37,103.

Finance Ministry’s compiled information also shows that ministries want additional finances worth EUR 1.4 billion for 2020 budget priorities and EUR 1.8 billion for 2021 budget priorities.

In accordance with Latvia’s Stability Programme for 2018-2021, the country’s fiscal space is negative. In accordance with forecasts, Latvia’s fiscal space will be minus EUR 37.8 million in 2020. Positive fiscal space is expected for 2021 – EUR 3.2 million.

Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis told journalists in April that new expenditures are not expected for the budget. He added that wider discussions regarding  next year’s budget expenditures are expected to take place after Saeima elections.

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said currently expected changes to the fiscal space may be adopted this autumn, when macro-economic outlooks will be reviewed.


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