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Tuesday 25.04.2017 | Name days: Līksma, Bārbala
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Expenditures for social protection up 5.9%

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn 2015, social protection expenditure in Latvia accounted for 3 619.7 million euros and, compared to 2014, it has grown by 201 million euros or 5.9 %. Expenditure on support for families and children increased by 24.1 %, expenditure on support for disabled persons by 7.8 %, and social expenditure on sickness and heath care by 7.5 %.

The expenditure growth was mostly affected by the deregulation of maternity, paternity and parental benefit size limits as well as amendments in the terms for granting childcare benefit that came into force on 1 October 2014. Rise was observed also in the expenditure on family state allowance, as since 2015 the size thereof was set based on the number of children in family, and in the expenditure on the state support programme for children who do not have place in pre-school education establishment (8.2 million euros in 2014 and 11.4 million euros in 2015), according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau Of Latvia.

In 2015, expenditure on support for disabled persons (except for payments related to healthcare) grew by 7.8 %. The rise was due to the increase in expenditure on assistant services, on public transport fare concessions for  person of 1st and 2nd disability group and on nursing allowance to disabled persons aged over 18 (from 142.29 euros before 1 July 2014 to 213.43 euros from the date onwards).

In 2015, the largest decline (of 13.3 %) was recorded in the expenditure on social exclusion; the drop was mainly related to the reduction in local government expenditure on guaranteed minimum income (hereinafter – the GMI benefit). Compared to 2014, when expenditure on the GMI benefit accounted for 9.9 million euros, in 2015 it diminished by 20.3 % and comprised 7.8 million euros. The data of the Ministry of Welfare show that during 2015 the number of the GMI benefit recipients fell from 21 thousand persons in January to 15 thousand persons in December.

In 2015, social protection expenditure constituted 14.9 % of the gross domestic product (GDP) – 0.4 percentage points more than in 2014 (14.5 % of GDP). For comparison, in 2014 social protection expenditure in Estonia comprised 14.8 % of the GDP and in Lithuania 14.7 % of the GDP.

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