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Ceturtdiena 19.01.2017 | Name days: Alnis, Andulis
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EC’s report points out Latvia’s main labour sector challenges

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«Recommendations provided by the European Commission provide Latvia with a clear direction in which the government should work in. It is highly important to invest in every individual in Latvia in a situation when the country’s population continues to decline,» – notes head of Saeima’s European Affairs Committee Lolita Čigāne.

Members of the European Affairs Committee and Labour Affairs Committee gathered on a joint meeting on Monday, 4 April in order to listen to the report of the head of European Commission’s representation in Latvia Inna Steinbuka on the realization of EC’s recommendations provided to Latvia last year.

In its report, EC has identified numerous challenges in the country’s labour sector, including the demographic situation, education and healthcare, work productivity, labour costs, taxes and poverty. EC has also identified challenges in the business environment and competitiveness, especially in regards to grey economy, investments, innovations and state administration, said Steinbuka.

Latvia has adopted recommendations in relation to the budget policy in full – Latvia complies with budget policy goals, tax avoidance continues to decline as a phenomenon across the country.

In regards to education, recommendations from EC request improvements to vocational and higher education, as well as provide more targeted funding for research and investments into innovations. At the same time, however, progress has been mentioned, including the fact that a new vocational education monitoring system has been created and investment into modernization have been carried out, said Steinbuka.

In relation to social policy and healthcare, EC recommendations request reforming the social care system, carry out employment support measures and enhance healthcare accessibility. Aija Barca, head of the Social and Employment Matters Committee said that EC was wrong in its assessment in regards to no progress with social benefits in Latvia, as a number of new benefits have been introduced and increased in the country since 2009. Barca also called to organize a meeting between members of the Social and Employment Matters Committee, European Committee and Welfare Ministry in order to clarify certain matters in this area.

Healthcare Ministry’s representative mentioned in relation to recommendations that the ministry has formed a work group to develop a new healthcare financing model, which is planned to be finished before the end of the year.

During the meeting, Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens reported that the government plans to hold a discussion in relation to the realization of recommendations this Tuesday. He added that work continues in all fields.

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