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Wednesday 20.06.2018 | Name days: Rasa, Rasma, Maira

Latvia Welfare Minister candidate: social budget and employment are urgent

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Minister of Welfare candidate Ilona Jursevska

The first urgent tasks of the Ministry of Welfare (MW) are ensuring the social budget and promoting effective labour market, the Minister of Welfare candidate Ilona Jursevska (Ilona Jurševska) said in an interview to LNT broadcast 900 sekundes.

She says expenditure not characteristic to the social budget and retirement age rise should be considered.

«The greatest challenge is maintaining the situation the way it is now,» says Jursevska, adding, they have to do everything possible pensions were not cut. The candidate believes MW has already contributed a lot to the national economical development in the previous years; however it is still important to understand what to consolidate, so that the most significant social structures would not suffer.

One of the solutions is diverting 2nd tier of pensions contributions to the 1st tier. That way additional 112 million lats would be gained, protecting pensions from any kind of cuts. Jursevska points out it is not a long-term solution, it could only last for two years as a maximum. Currently they are negotiating with the Ministry of Finance, which has included the matter in the future government declaration.

The Minister of Welfare candidate tells the retirement age rise could be launched starting from 2016, still maintaining the option of early retirement. Time from 2016 up to 2020 is planned as a transition period, when the retirement age will be raised from 62 to 65 years.

Regarding the labour market, Kursevska says the situations has slightly improved. The unemployment rate hit 14.6% in September, while 14.3% in October.

She says there is another problem expecting the state, namely, new job openings are launched in Latvia, yet there is lack of professionals of particular fields. Most of the jobless are either permanently unemployed or young people lacking job experience, therefore employment system restructurisation should be considered seriously.

Jursevska does not agree the number of the unemployed in much bigger that registered. Even when unemployment benefits have ended, it is till beneficial to register the status, as then different employment programs and benefits are available.

Regarding parental benefits, no cuts have been planned. If it happens the matter is on the MW agenda, the process has to be long-term, Jursevska is convinced.

Similarly, the candidate admits she is quite unknown to wider society and has not dealt with politics so far, however, when working side by side with Uldis Augulis, she has gained experience and hopes MW with her participation will manage a lot.


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  1. Ren says:

    Hope those tasks will be really carried out, and not discussed in theory.

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