bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 26.07.2017 | Name days: Ance, Anna, Annija
LatviaLatvia

BNN summary of the week: Estonian minister disapproves of NATO; Latvia’s tax system lags behind

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Business; Change; Future; Decline; Truth and Growth.

CHANGE: Estonian Minister steps down after questioning NATO membership

Estonian Minister of Public Affairs Mihhail Korb has stated he resigns from office after saying he is not in favour of NATO membership.

Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports that Korb announced on Wednesday, May 25, following scandal that erupted earlier in the day about a comment he had made and after a lengthy discussion with Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, a fellow member of Centre Party.

Full article here

BUSINESS: Support to Rail Baltica further funding voiced by European Parliament Committee

Political support for continued funding of the railway project Rail Baltica has been acknowledged by a member of the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism.

Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports that Rail Baltic will cost close to 6 billion euros to build and will not be completed during the EU’s current budget period, so additional funding from the next joint budget is needed.

Full article here

DECLINE: Government’s indecisiveness and rushed decisions impact transit industry

The refusal of Russian Railways to carry cargoes from Russian ports to Latvia could create a state of emergency for Latvia’s transit industry, says Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics.

The crisis in the country’s second largest national economy industry will strongly impact Latvia’s economy, the association states, adding that the situation became like this because of the government’s indecisiveness, rushed and unreasonable decisions, as well as its refusal to resolve problems associated with the industry’s competitiveness.

«The government’s decision to prohibit Ventspils port to participate in the massive international Nord Stream 2 project shows that the government either does not know how or does not want to serve their country’s economic interests,» BATL continues.

Logistics industry’s representatives explain that the government’s arguments about the threat posed by Nord Stream 2 project to the country’s security do not hold up against criticism. «According to Latvia’s foreign policy doctrine, Russia remains our country’s strategic cooperation partners. Talks of espionage under the cover of pipeline components’ transport are nothing more than unreasonable dramatization of the entire situation. A more realistic threat is the army of unemployed people caused by the dramatic decline of transit cargoes. It will be necessary to pay social benefits to those people. We can also expect a new wave of emigration,» says BATL president Inga Antane.

Full article here

TRUTH: Latvia’s tax system is less progressive than systems in other EU countries

The European Commission recommends Latvia to reduce the tax burden for small wage recipients and move it to other sources that are less impacting on growth and motivate people to pay taxes.

EC notes that Latvia’s income inequality is one of the highest among EU member states and the country’s tax system is less progressive than what is found in other member states.

European Council recommends Latvia to realize a fiscal policy this year and the next in accordance with requirements of Stability and Growth Pact’s preventive measures section, which includes the goal for reaching medium-term budget goals in 2018.

EC’s published recommendations urge for improvements to the adequacy of social security and increase of work force’s professional skills by speeding up the reform of training programmes in vocational education.

Full article here

GROWTH: SRS and LCCI to cooperate in search for most efficient tax payment models

Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry and the State Revenue Service have signed an agreement for the development of better solutions he assist the growth of Latvia’s national economy.

This document provides for LCCI’s participation in the development of the tax policy, associated documents and regulations as long as it fits goals of SRS’ strategy. It is also planned SRS and LCCI will cooperate in the search for more efficient methods for the payment of taxes to better combat grey economy, contribute to economic breakthrough and increase honest competition.

It is expected this cooperation will organize training for businessmen to inform them of any new developments and changes to the existing system. Regular meetings will be organized between the two sides.

Full article here

Future: Razuks hints healthcare budget’s increase would require new fees

Sides involved in discussions about finding additional finances for healthcare have yet to reach a definite agreement. It is possible there may be a new fee introduced, said Saeima Public Health sub-committee chairman Romualds Razuks told Rīta panorama on Tuesday, 23 May.

The sub-committee will view the legislative draft on gradual rejection of extended work hours for doctors. Razuks mentioned that this matter will not be resolved without a transition period because there is not enough funding.

Currently the only open option to finance this step is using money from the emergency budget. The prime minister’s work group will continue discussions about the proposal to liquidate extended work hours, added the politician.

Razuks hinted that increasing healthcare budget would require a new fee – health insurance. Otherwise there will be no other option than suffer with insufficient funding.

Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia chairman Egils Baldzens adds that there have been many different proposals mentioned in the search for funding. Unfortunately, no agreement has been reached on any of them so far.

Full article here

Ref: 224.109.109.5109


Leave a reply

Farmers Saeima: beef industry in Latvia is not sufficiently developed

Farmers Saeima believes Latvia’s beef industry is not sufficiently developed, and existing farms have not sufficiently stabilized – many farms have major debt. Because of that any kind of support for the industry is welcome.

Puce: Latvia should ratify Istanbul Convention without reservations

For Latvia’s Development political party has turned to Welfare Ministry with a request to ratify Istanbul Convention without any corrections as soon as possible, BNN was informed by the party’s representatives.

More than half of Latvian businessmen work on weekend; study shows

Businessmen normally spend eight hours and five minutes on work every day. More than 58% of Latvian businessmen also work on weekends, according to data from the latest Citadele Index study.

Farmers: crop yield this year will be positive thanks to weather

In Zemgale, crop harvest began a week ago. Harvest of winter crops is almost over. Harvests elsewhere in Latvia will commence no sooner than August, farmers say.

Murniece offers UGF to consider replacing Duklavs

«The policy is that, considering Duklavs’ involvement in Ridzene talks, the Union of Greens and Farmers should consider ways of resolving the situation,» says Saeima speaker Inara Murniece.

Chinese-Russian navy drill takes place in Baltic Sea

Russian and Chinese navies have launched their first joint military drill in the Baltic Sea raising concern to NATO member states Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, cautious of Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine.

Tax loss forecast by Estonian food producers dismissed by Finance Minister

Estonian Finance Minister Toomas Tõniste has rejected the grim forecast published by the Estonian Food Industry Association this week that the state budget would lose 170 million euros in tax revenue in 2018 due to excise tax hikes.

Antane: excise tax for diesel fuel should be reduced, not increased

«Unfortunately, when making the decision to increase excise tax rate for diesel fuel, the government did not consider all possible risks this decision could bring to the transport and logistics industry and the country’s economy as a whole,» BNN was told by President of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics Inga Antane.

Association: rapid increase of excise tax would cause dramatic rise of smuggling activity

National Association for Tobacco Product Manufacturers is confused about Finance Ministry’s submitted proposals for tax reform that provide for raising excise tax on cigarettes by 11% instead of previously planned 5.5%.

UK plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles

In an attempt to curb air pollution the UK plans to set the goal to ban from 2040 new diesel and petrol engine cars and vans.

Members of Saeima delegated to the investigative committee in charge of Oligarch case

Andrejs Judins from Unity, Martins Sics from Latvian Association of Regions, Igors Pimetovs from Harmnony, Ritvars Jansons from VL-TB/LNNK, Inguna Sudraba from To Latvia from the Heart and Ainars Mezulis from the Union of Greens and Farmers have been delegated to the parliamentary committee for the investigation of Oligarch case.

U.S. legislators back additional sanctions on Russia

The House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress has adopted imposing additional sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran, even though U.S. President Donald Trump has opposed fresh sanctions on Russia.

Government allows Bite Lietuva to become the owner of TV3, LNT and Star FM

On Tuesday, 25 July, the Cabinet of Ministers permitted Lithuanian company UAB BITE Lietuva to acquire decisive influence in Latvian media companies TV 3 Latvia, LNT and Star FM.

Latvia put on 34th place in global pension index

Latvia is on the 34th place of Natixis Global Asset Management global pension index. It is two places lower than last year, according to the index report for 2017.

Experts predict nearly half of beer consumed in Estonia will be procured in Latvia

Estimates of Estonian alcohol producers and retail traders show that nearly half of all beer and one-third of vodka that will be consumed in the country next year will be procured in Latvia. According to experts, this way Estonia will lose up to EUR 170 million in tax revenue, Postimees reports.

Latvia had the sixth smallest new vehicles registration index in Europe

Compared with the same period of 2016, Latvia has had the sixth lowest registration index for new commercial vehicles in Europe in January-June period, according to data published by European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

LAR proposes reducing micro-enterprise tax to 12%

Latvian Association of Regions proposes establishing micro-enterprise tax rate at 12% instead of 15%, as well as state that calendar year turnover for micro-enterprises is not to be reduced to EUR 40,000, as it is proposed by the government, but to be kept at the current restriction – under EUR 100,000.

Court dismisses Krums from the last of his supervised insolvency process

On Monday, 24 July, Riga Pardaugava Court dismissed the currently arrested insolvency administrator Ilmars Krums from the last one of the insolvency processes currently under his supervision, as confirmed by Insolvency Administration’s representative.

49 «quota refugees» away from Estonia for over 90 days

49 people of the refugees accepted by Estonia as part of the European Union's refugee relocation programme have exceeded the 90-day period of being allowed be away from the country.

Opinion: EU agricultural policy is not equal to all member states

Latvian Association of Agricultural Cooperatives organized a meeting with Agriculture Ministry’s and State Plant Protection Service’s specialists to discuss and search for solutions for opportunities to sow fermented summer rapeseed.

In pictures: Corsica hit by widespread forest fires

Fire-fighters in the French Mediterranean island of Corsica continued on the night to July 25 to battle forest fires covering an area of some 900 hectares.

Can Latvia expect a more rapid rise of excise tax for alcohol and cigarettes?

Finance Ministry has plans to raise excise tax on alcoholic beverages and cigarettes even more rapidly, according to proposals prepared by the ministry to the Excise Tax Law. These proposals have been submitted to the Saeima for approval in the final reading.

LCCI: e-health system will help reduce the number of dishonest patients

«Healthcare Ministry has to secure full integration of e-health system and form a policy for healthcare specialists that is aimed at returning labourers back to work as soon as possible, not issuing countless sick leave certificates,» as noted by representatives of Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

Swedish government admits «disastrous» data leak

The government of Sweden has stated that one of its agencies has committed a massive leak of sensitive data in 2015, when it organised an information technology outsourcing procedure.

Vucans: there are plenty of proposals for tax reform laws

Around 350 proposals have been received by the Latvian parliament in relation to tax reform laws. Last week, the Saeima supported tax reform laws in the first reading. This week, on the other hand, it is planned to review them in the final reading.