bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 17.10.2017 | Name days: Karīna, Gaits

Association of Local and Regional Governments critizes «hundred-lats»

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Our red tape is already a too heavy burden for taxpayers, the Chairman of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments Andris Jaunsleinis told in an interview to the business news portal BNN, suggesting changing the investment policy regarding regions, do away with the «hundred-lats» programme and launch large-scale reforms in the government.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, Chairman of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments Andris Jaunsleinis

Chairman of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments Andris Jaunsleinis

The funds the World Bank has attributed to the «hundred-lats» programme for the jobless are soon to run out, how to ensure those permanently unemployed find a job?

I believe this programme should be rounded up this year. We must return to the socially useful work programme, once forwarded by the State Employment Agency.

«Hundred-lats» programme was a short-term solution for the crisis situation, it reduced the social pressure considerably. The contradiction lies somewhere else. A participant of the programme gets 100 lats, while a person with the minimum wage gets 130 lats a month. While one of them has a real job and higher professional requirements, the other earns only 30 lats less, in addition it also a way to spend time, because it is better to remove snow than do nothing. However, I must admit the «hundred-lats» programme damages the whole employment system. As soon as the economy exits the crisis, it must be stopped.

In «the fat years» there were a lot of intermediary companies who drafted projects commissioned by municipalities and undertook to take care of them being approved at ministries and agencies. Have they disappeared?

Local municipalities officials have to consider whether it pays back to do it themselves. They need certain amounts of projects to hire a highly qualified specialist – project developer. Sometimes purchasing professional outsourcing services is cheaper. Bigger regions form Development and Project departments to attract qualified staff. Intermediary companies have not disappeared anywhere. The Minister has warned us such people wander municipalities and their companies offering «to arrange matters», as they as if have a direct contact with ministries. These are fraudsters calling themselves lobbyists. There is no corruption there. Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Raimonds Vejonis advised us not to listen to them.

Why is the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (ALRG) demanding subsidies for local routes are kept at the level of 2010?

State finances cuts of 20% for local routes, 12% VAT and diesel fuel price gains will result in 35% funds drop, instead of 20% for local traffic in 2011. There are some «red lines», though. Residents of rural areas should always have options to get somewhere using the public transport. The Minister of Transport will come to the ALRG session in February to discuss these issues. I assume most of municipalities will have run out of funds for snow removal by spring, and they will need additional help from the state. Similarly, money should be put aside for repairing holes in roads. Given that the local traffic reduced its losses by 13.48% in the first half of the year 2010, while intercity only by – 1.38% – it is not objective to divide 2011 funds equally between local and intercity routes. We believe local regional transportations should have the same funds as in 2010, with local routes having 13.77 million lats, including 12.08 million lats for the compensation of losses and 1.69 million lats for fare discounts. At the same time it is necessary to reorganize intercity transportation by splitting off regional routes and together with the funds transferring them to the planning regions. Public transport consolidation in 2011 is only possible if funds for intercity routes are cut. There are also many private carriers, who make profit with minibuses. The private take the category of the solvent both legally and illegally, while we are operating even half-empty buses resulting in huge losses.

Is that true the European Union authorities see Latvia as one, not five regions?

This is what we ourselves have defined. We have abandoned showing regional differences to EU authorities. It is easier to them to work with Latvia as a single region. The average economic temperature of the state is not that bad actually. Out disproportion in regional development is our internal issue. Thus EU structural funds allocation according to regions quotas principle is misleading of the municipalities and the society. We highlighted this issue already back 2004, when Latvia joined the EU. It was not approved then, as if, because of the lack of experience. The EU itself has admitted the structural funds allocation by sectors has not paid back, as it aims at faster levelling of municipalities differences. Sectors are in a constant interaction, it is impossible to coordinate it. Because we cannot modernize water supply simultaneously with roads repair work, if there are different sources of the money and completion terms. Local municipalities do not know how to halt a project to wait for the next one, in order brand new roads would not be torn down to install a water pipeline. We are now carrying out an integrated development plan, which should be introduced in the whole Latvia. It would be a real return from the EU funds investments.

How did the ALRG and the government agree dividing risks by half in the 2011 state budget?

The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers provided municipalities getting the personal income taxes though the Treasury are guaranteed the PIT revenue not less than 92% of the planned, while we asked for 100% for each local municipality. The Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and the Finance Minister Andris Vilks concluded the government was ready to step back. I suggested dividing the risks by half and the Prime Minister agreed to guarantee in the 2011 state budget the PIT forecast of 96%. This is an example of the right direction to make closer bonds with the government in leveling the municipalities finances. The law of 1998 has been in an «emergency state» during the crisis. We need a new law for levelling finances to come into force in 2013. The PIT revenue (82% to the local municipalities and 18% – to the state budget) are forecast to comprise 590.4 million lats for municipalities in 2011. According to the state’s total budget figures, the proportion of municipalities revenue has dropped considerably during the crisis – from 27%-28% down to 21%.


Leave a reply

  1. Litas says:

    Local routes should definitely be funded more, for the residents of rural areas to have options as well.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Number of people at risk of poverty in Baltics in higher than the average in EU

The ratio of people subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk in Baltic States is higher than the average in the European Union, according to Eurostat data compiled for 26 out of 28 member states in 2016.

E-voting defended in Estonia after criticism from party leader

Responding to claims from a leader of an Estonian political party that the country’s e-voting system lacks transparency, the head of e-Government Academy’s e-democracy department explained it was possible that the voters of one party are more active e-voters than supporters of other parties.

Residents’ mood worsens; people become more critical about their finances

Over the course of the past month, residents’ general mood has worsened significantly – declines have been noted on all positions analysed by the survey. Residents were critical the most in the survey about their material state – the index in this category declined from -9 to -11, according to the latest Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Antāne: Saeima’s National Economy Committee has heard the transit industry’s cry

Inga Antāne, president of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics, is satisfied with the decision that was made at the recent meeting of Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee, asking the Transport Ministry to develop and present a sustainable development strategy for the industry and putting an emphasis on raising the competitiveness of railway tariffs.

Latvian’s attitude towards combating cancer in late stages seems irresponsible

The attitude towards combating cancer in late stages in Latvia remains very low, says former healthcare minister of Latvia Ingrīda Circene.

Hydrogen-powered transport technology – a reality in Latvia

There are plans to establish a hydrogen refuelling station in Riga before the end of 2017. A publicly available H2 refuelling station in Riga would secure an inter-state network of hydrogen refuelling stations: the closest other station will be established in Pernava, says Association Zero Emission Mobility Support chairman Arnis Bergs.

Estonian ministry to collect 270 000 euros from IT company over failure to build information system

Tieto Estonia, the Estonian branch of Finnish IT firm group Tieto will compensate the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs 270,000 euros for the failure of the SKAIS2 project, the aim of which was the development of a new information system for the Estonian social insurance authority, but was deemed a failure in August.

Latvia invites Iran to act constructively to ensure security

Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs participated in a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, where he discussed about the role of Iran in the region and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in light of the upcoming report from US President Donald Trump to the Congress on Iran’s progress realizing the plan.

Vigil held in Malta over killing of investigative journalist

Several thousand people in Malta have taken part in a vigil held after news broke of the killing of an investigative journalist, who blamed Maltese government for corruption.

American exchange indexes reach record-high values; oil prices on the rise

In response to price rise of bank stocks, three leading indexes of US exchanges reached new record heights on Monday, 16 October. In addition, US Federal Reserve System manager Janet Yellen’s prediction regarding a soon inflation rise has increased confidence that base interest rate will increase in December.

54.14% more alcohol exported from Latvia; most of it to Russia

In the first eight months of 2017, a total of 102.259 million litres of alcoholic drinks was exported from Latvia, which is 54.14% more when compared with the same period of last year.

In pictures: Ireland hit by worst storm in 50 years

Three people have been killed in Ireland in the storm Ophelia, which cut off electricity networks to 120 000 homes and businesses in the country. Gusts of wind in Ireland on Monday, October 16, had reached the speed of 44 metres per second.

Tragic wildfires in Portugal and Spain

No less than 30 people have died in wildfires in Portugal and Spain.

Ašeradens to leave Latvian government at the end of November

Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens intends to leave the government after approval of the 2018 budget in the Saeima, which is scheduled for the end of November, as confirmed by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.

Islamic extremists blamed for tragic terrorist attack in Somalia

The death-toll in a tragic terror attack in the eastern African state of Somalia has reached 320 people and local authorities have stated that a key member of the cell that allegedly launched the attack on Mogadishu has told them that al-Shabaab was responsible for the crime.

Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks gets new management

From now on Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks will have a new chairman: once the head of Latio Namsaimnieks has been appointed as the new head of the company. The other vacant post has been given to Ardis Pāvilsons.

Catalonia misses ultimatum deadline, Spanish government vows to act after Thursday

The separatist Spainish region of Catalonia has missed the deadline to clarify, if it has declared independence and Madrid has received a letter from the President of the autonomous region, which still needs analysis.

What will be the consequences for companies that cheated with electricity production permits

Businesses that were caught using fake permits for electricity production in mandatory procurements will not have their permits extended, says Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Latvian tourist accommodation facilities experience increase of overnight guests

The number of nights tourists and other guests spent in Latvian hotels and other tourist accommodation facilities in the first eight months of 2018 has grown 12.2% in comparison with the same period of last year, reaching 3.524 million.

Antāne: transit industry has been on thin ice lately

«The transit industry has been on thin ice lately. Russia’s decision to divert all cargoes to its ports will only smash the ice. The government and state policy-makers have two choices – wait for the ice to break completely and watch the industry drown until finally stepping in, or act now to at least reduce the crisis for the country’s national economy, workers and their families,» says President of Baltic Association – Transit and Logistics Inga Antāne.

Kučinskis evasive in evaluation of Unity’s Economy Minister candidates

Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis remains evasive when it comes to assessing Unity’s Economy Minister candidates.

Amid alleged harassment scandal, Rõivas leaves post in Riigikogu

The former head of Estonian government Taavi Rõivas, who has been pointed to as allegedly having groped a woman during a visit to Singapore, has denied the claims, but has nevertheless decided to leave the of the second deputy speaker of the Estonian parliament.

De Facto: only one person was convicted of corruption in politics by KNAB in 15 years

In the past fifteen years, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau completed only one political corruption case, as concluded by De Facto programme of LTV.

Centre party victorious in Estonian local government elections

In the Estonian municipal election, held on October 15, the largest overall support has been won by Centre Party that is also the ruling party in Estonian central government.

Week to kick off warm in Latvia; weather to become colder down the line

At the beginning of the week, several cyclones will pass over Scandinavia. Cyclones will also dictate weather in Latvia. Atmospheric fronts will pass over the country multiple times throughout the week. Nevertheless, the sun will appear every now and then, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Most read

Most commented

Newest comments