During an extraordinary meeting of the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers on Monday, 16 November, ministers supported proposals of multiple ministries in relation to the 2016 state budget and their submission to the Saeima for a second reading.
The government agreed to allocate an additional amount of EUR 10 million to the country’s healthcare workers in order to equalize wages after the increase of minimum wages. Ministers also supported the proposal to divide up financing for workers of welfare, education and environmental sectors.
Ministers also discussed state budget proposals submitted by Saeima deputies. The final decision was that the Saeima would review and decide the fate of amendments on its own. In total, Saeima deputies submitted more than 900 proposals related to the state budget. 620 proposals are related to the2016 budget and 2016-2018 medium-term budget. Other proposals are related to budget-related legislation, as reported Finance Ministry.
The government also supported the proposal to divide up financing for the State Employment Agency and State Social Insurance Agency in order to equalize wages for workers after the increase of minimum wages. The decision to increase funding for the rehabilitation of child-victims of abuse has also been made by the Latvian government. Proposals in regards to internal division of funding for Welfare Ministry, Education Ministry and Environmental Ministry were also supported by the government. It is reported that these proposals will not impact the state budget because funding will be divided as part of internal budgets of different economic sectors.
Following the initiative voiced by Justice Ministry, the government also supported the proposal to allocate funding for the State Probation Service. Additional funds are necessary in order to secure a longer probation period.
The proposal to allocate additional funds for Security Police was also supported by the government. EUR 340,000 are planned to be allocated in 2016 and EUR 488,000 in 2017.
After reviewing Transport Ministry’s proposal, the Cabinet of Ministers conceptually supported the proposal that would allow increasing the ministry’s appropriations by no more than EUR 80 million (for Latvia’s national airBaltic airline as part of the initiative to increase the base capital). Transport Ministry will secure the deal involving state and private investment in airBaltic, which is not expected to have a negative impact on the state budget balance. Plans for airBaltic are to be reviewed by the government on the nearest government meeting.