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Government’s plan requires one billion euros

Krišjānis Kariņš/flickr.com/Valsts kanceleja
Implementation of the action plan developed by the Latvian government requires EUR 1 billion, said Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš at an extraordinary meeting of the government.

The prime minister reports that he has met with ministers during the action plan’s development process, and the implementation of the plan requires EUR 1 billion, adding that Latvia does not have this much money to afford everything.

«There won’t be a billion if we don’t change the policy. If we want to implement all priorities, we can do this by either dividing funding or increasing taxes, but no one wants the latter option. We have to meet somewhere in the middle,» admits Kariņš.

He invites looking at what Latvia’s government wants to accomplish in the next four years, considering existing macro-economic trends.

After the meeting, Kariņš told journalists that the 2020 state budget will have many challenges because even now there is a shortage of fund to afford all priorities set by ministries.

«Ironically, even with economic growth, rise in employment and decline in unemployment the government still does not have sufficient money. No one wants to discuss possible increase of taxes. With that, we will have to consider making the work of ministries more cost-efficient,» said Kariņš.

Latvia’s Stability programme 2019-2022, which was approved by the government on Monday, 15 April, mentions that the country’s fiscal space for 2020 is expected to be -11.9 million euros. According to the prime minister, the government will have to work to make the fiscal space positive, as well as carefully consider priorities worth supporting. Among priorities of Latvian ministries he mentioned the administrative territorial reform, as well as reforms in education and healthcare.

«I refuse to work in an environment where everyone has their personal list of wants and they rip and tear to get what they want. The country cannot develop in such a way. Ministers should decide on common priorities. The 2020 state budget will be our government’s most difficult task. If we overcome this challenge, we will have a clear vision for the country’s development,» admits the prime minister.

Talks about the 2020 budget are planned to commence in seminar form after Easter. During these seminars it is planned to review a number of topics, including the tax system, use of state funds, etc.


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