bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 18.01.2017 | Name days: Antis, Antons
LatviaLatvia

Economic Diary of Latvia. Our people – we can find common ground. Or can we?

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThis week the Latvian government mused ideas for new tax initiatives. No actual progress has been made so far, but, considering certain circumstances, it is not what matters the most.

Latvia’s Economy Ministry has submitted to the government a draft of rules for the adoption of a new fee in order to motivate businessmen to pay more attention to matters of energy efficiency.

The ministry proposes adopting an energy efficiency fee worth 7% of electrical energy consumed for the previous calendar month calculated per each MWh of consumed electricity.

According to the plans of the economic institution, payment of this fee will help reduce the imbalance between businessmen who employ energy audit measures or other kinds of energy management systems and those who do not.

This fee should be considered an instrument to control the energy management system in the realization of energy efficiency means to help achieve the goal set by the government – save 9,896 GWh of energy in end consumer sectors by 2020, as noted by the ministry. This fee would be applied to businessmen whose companies consume a lot of electrical energy (more than 500 MWh per year) if there is no way for them to adopt an energy audit or energy management system on their own.

According to initial estimates, revenue from this fee could reach approximately EUR 553,000 in 2017, EUR 2.52 million in 2018 and nearly EUR 1.45 million in 2019.

Politicians had previously demonstrated their ability to think outside the box and application of fiscal instruments by adopting the Solidarity Tax. The fate of this particular tax turned out comical and tragic at the same time. First it turned out that the number of payers of this tax had declined by 20 or 30 percent from the number mentioned in official documents (which is something that should have been expected, because people who receive wages of more than EUR 4,000 per month, who were the target audience of this tax, work in large and respective companies that usually have a team of professional tax consultants and lawyers, who also earn a lot not just for having pretty eyes, but rather for their knowledge and ability to make sure the ‘right’ money is not subjected to taxes without breaching any laws in the process). Later on, businessmen decided to challenge the adoption of this tax in the Constitutional Court. After that, Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola admitted that the adoption of this tax reduced the trust of entrepreneurs toward the state. Nevertheless, the head of the ministry noted that the idea of this tax is correct – the form and execution, on the other hand, is flawed. The minister believes there is no need to cancel the tax. She proposes changing it into a social tax to make sure those who pay it also receive some benefits.

The constitutional court will decide on whether or not to accept the plea on 28 July.

Holy place does not remain empty for long

There are still more questions than answers in the matter of leadership for the State Revenue Service. Inga Kolegova, Director of the State Environmental Service, remains the only candidate to lead SRS. Kolegova refuses to comment this information, as she is currently on vacation.

Previously Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis met with the head of the State Treasury Kaspars Abolins, who was considered a candidate for the aforementioned post for a time. Abolins, however, refused to become a candidate.

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola does seem to have other candidates, but their names are not revealed at this time. According to the information that was leaked to the press, it is known that aside from Kolegova and Abolins the offer to lead SRS was also offered to the Director of the Consumer Rights Protection Centre Baiba Vitolina.

The story about finding a replacement for Inara Petersone is similar to the situation following Laimdota Straujuma’s decision to step down. As we all remember, the search for the new head of the government cost President Raimonds Vejonis’ health a lot: the president was hospitalized the day after the announcement of Maris Kucinskis’ name.

The lack of appropriate candidates for big posts in state administration means the queue is nearly empty. And this is a very, very bad sign. It means the country has a lack of labour force and the elite. Elite in this case does not mean incredibly wealthy people who can afford expensive cars and yachts. In this case it means people with good education, plenty of experience, skills, broad thinking and capability to lead the small ship called Latvia through all geopolitical and economic storms safely.

The ‘right’ people

In the context of deficit of capable professionals, it is worth mentioning the discussion organized by Neatkarīgā with representatives of New Latvians association, which unites recipients of residence permits.

The newspaper prepared an article based on results of the discussion. Here are some excerpts from the article.

‘The most important part of society is being washed away from Latvia. Professionals leave for countries where they are in demand. But it was not easy for anyone who has relocated to Latvia for life to rise above the middle class. We managed largely thanks to our professional skills and education. We have our own human capital. I believe such a group of professionals loyal to Latvia could prove useful. We have homes and funds. We are not focused on survival. With that, we can offer a lot,’ – said psychologist Maria Shumihina.

Sociologist Irina Krilova noted that demographically useful residents are travelling to Latvia. They are interested in helping Latvia become stable and developing Latvia. «They are prepared to invest their own human resources. It is their main capital at the moment,» – she noted.

«The people who travel to Latvia as part of the residence permit programme travel here to create. Not to make money and receive the biggest cuts – Russia is a better destination for that. There are more problems in that country. Therefore – there are more opportunities for such a business. In Latvia, on the other hand, it is possible to create businesses that benefit society, the state and infrastructure,» – added entrepreneur Pavel Pereverzev.

When asked if those people intend to integrate in Latvia’s environment, Krilova responded by saying that it was the initial goal: people part of the residence permit system actively study the language and culture.

This does sound like a utopia, but in conditions of chronic deficit of skilled workers and elite this group of New Latvians may take the free space in the country. In the political and economic context, as well as the migration crisis in Europe, the government should think not of ways to increase taxes or create new ones, but rather that the education and healthcare sectors gradually become critically important for the economy and the country’s survival. Latvia desperately needs healthy and educated people. Latvia’s own people.

Ref: 017.109.109.6799


Leave a reply

In spite of opposition from businessmen, government supports railway electrification project

On Tuesday, 17 January, the Cabinet of Ministers supported Transport Ministry’s and LDz’s proposed project for electrification of the country’s railway network and its further development. The plan provides for the electrification of the railway network from Daugavpils and Rezekne to Riga through Krustpils, as BNN was informed by Transport Ministry.

Study: users still do not make passwords that are sufficiently secure

«Considering the amount of private and confidential information we tend to store on the internet, users should be more careful about security and effective passwords. This seems self-explanatory, but many people, it seems, do not understand how easy it is to make password-management mistakes,» – says Kaspersky Lab consumer commercial manager Andrey Mohola.

SRS uncovers 3,200 litres of illegal diesel fuel in Riga

During an information check regarding possible storage and realization of illegal diesel fuel, State Revenue Service’s Customs Police uncovered illegally stored diesel fuel within a garage territory in Riga on 11 January, 2017.

GFK determines the most popular smart-phones in Latvia

Last year, Latvians were prepared to spend more money on smart-phones than in 2015. According to results of a study by GFK, residents spent EUR 389 on the purchase of a smart-phone on average.

BATL: intention to electrify railway line is either incompetent or is the scam of the century

In spite of the industry’s calls over the past two years, Transport Ministry still has not provided a cargo attraction plan, a unified offer for our cooperation partners. Nor do we have a clearly defined transit strategy and development direction, says Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics.

Poroshenko warns Ukrainians could get disillusioned with Euro-integration

The choice of the people of Ukraine to go the road of deepening ties with the European Union could turn into disappointment if delays with visa regime and association agreement continue, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko stated.

Ventspils municipality’s planned budget expenditures are higher than revenue

On 12 January, Ventspils City Council approved the budget for 2017. It is stated in the document that the base budget’s planned revenue is EUR 13,584,298. Budget expenditures are planned at EUR 22,652,396, as reported by Marlena Zvaigzne, editor of Ventspils Novadnieks.

Rating: Estonia best in Baltic in growing and retaining talent

In a rating on the success of countries in growing, attracting and retaining talented workers, Baltic states have all been ranked in the top 33 out of 100 countries.

FM: gradual transfer to electronic procurements is planned

«The procurement field has changed significantly over the past several years. And it is not just because of the new directive announced by the European Parliament and European Council for procurements. One other factor to consider is the aiming for better management, reduction of the administrative burden and more efficient use of public resources,» – reports Finance Ministry’s Legal Department expert Liga Neilande.

Adding more EUR 10m Rail Baltic stops up for analysis, says Ratas

The current project of the international high-speed railway Rail Baltica contains three stops in its Estonian part, while adding more would need careful analysis, stated Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

Okmanis: stores should become modern to survive

Competition in the trade sector continues to grow in Latvia, admits Raimonds Okmanis, chairman of Latvian Traders Association.

Survey: every third Ventspils resident worried about new jobs in the city

Continuing the discussion regarding the unemployment situation in Ventspils, Latvijas fakti had performed a social survey last year. Results of this study show that 32% of residents of this city are concerned about the emergence of new jobs, adding that this is one of the main priorities for the city council.

Indian Ocean’s search for missing Malaysian aircraft – stopped fruitless

Search teams have quit looking for Malaysian airliner, which disappeared from radars on flight No. MH370 from Malaysia to China with 239 people on board, as currently, only seven of the 20 pieces of recovered debris have been identified as definitely or highly likely to be from the Boeing 777.

Turkey’s New Year attack suspect arrested

Police in Turkey have captured the man suspected of having committed a tragic terror attack in Istanbul on January 1.

Media report on Lithuania’s plan to build fence along Kaliningrad border

Vilnius has voiced plans to erect a 45-kilometre-long fence on the Lithuanian-Russian border along the Kaliningrad region, report Russian media.

Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals to offer alternative option for cargo carriers

Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals multifunctional cargo transshipment centre continues its work this year on a wave of positive results. This year, the terminal plans to introduce a new transport line to offer existing carriers and increase cargo turnover.

African swine fever reaches Krimulda and Adazi

On Monday, 16 January, Crisis Management Council decided to declare a state of emergency in Krimulda and Adazi. Because of that, it will be necessary to allocate approximately EUR 100,000 from the state budget for emergencies to combat African swine fever.

Ventspils has the most expensive heating among Latvia’s major cities

The heating season is especially unpleasant for residents of Ventspils, as, according to data from the Public Utilities Commission, Ventspils has the highest heating tariffs among Latvia’s major cities. Heating tariffs are only higher in a couple of smaller cities, but even in most of Latgale tariffs are lower than in Latvia’s richest port city.

VIDEO: how is life for «martyr» Lembergs?

A video has surfaced on the internet, depicting from bird's eye view the home of criminally accused, oligarch and member of Ventspils City Council Aivars Lembergs.

Investment volume in Latvia’s real estate market exceeds EUR 300 million

The volume of investments in Latvia’s real estate market exceeds EUR 300 million for the fourth consecutive year. The total investment volume reached EUR 341.3 million in 2016, compared with EUR 394.4 million in 2015, according to data from Colliers International Latvia.

Calendar of cultural events in Lithuania. International museum selfie day in Kaunas

BNN offers you a selection of cultural and sports events in Lithuania for the week during January 16-23.

Hesburger plans to open nine new restaurants in Baltics

Sales of Finnish and Baltic fast food restaurant network Hesburger in Baltics reached EUR 58 million last year.

Nordea: Latvia is the most demanding among Baltics in terms of bank supervision

Of the three Baltic States, Latvia is the most demanding when it comes to regulator requirements for banks. This is largely because of its banking market’s state. Nevertheless, requirements are not inadequate, Nordea bank head in Latvia Janis Buks said in an interview.

Estonia registers increase in population

The number of Estonian population has last year grown by 0.14%, or 1,850, people – estimated Statistics Estonia.

Lembergs had a shared offshore business with Putin’s advisor

In 1994, Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs travelled to Moscow to sign a document that made him a co-owner of Solvolub offshore. The company’s largest co-owner was Russian businessman Boris Titov, who is currently one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisers. This is also how Lembergs first acquired shares in Ventamonjaks in Ventspils, as reported by Nekā personīga programme of TV3.

Newest comments