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Monday 22.01.2018 | Name days: Austris
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Latvian President approves submission of next year’s budget plan to the Saeima

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe President of Latvia Andris Berzins commends the government for what has been done in favour of the development of the country’s budget for 2015, emphasizing his support for the submission of the budget plan to the Saeima for review.

«I am certain that the budget plan has been compiled based on real and factually backed data and estimates. I support its approval,» – said the President during his meeting with Finance Minister Janis Reirs and the ministry’s state secretary Baiba Bane.

The proposed budget plan provides for a stable and predictable tax policy without unnecessary increases to tax rates and tax burden in regard to GDP. Additional revenue is planned to be acquired from measures aimed for combating shadow economy, improved tax administration and payments of dividends from state enterprises.

In total, the amount of funding that will be diverted to government priorities and other important measures reaches EUR 180 million.

The Finance Minister approved the government’s success in establishing talks with the Association of Local Governments in Latvia during the budget formation talks. Reirs said the Finance Ministry and LPS have developed a new model for financial equalization local governments. Berzins said he approved this goal, as well as Finance Ministry’s plan to continue to perform preparations in order to start carrying out inequality reduction measures in 2016. Education and Science Ministry’s initiative aimed to develop a new remuneration model for teachers was also welcomed by the President, as reported by State President’s press-service.

The government approved Latvia’s budget plan project for 2015 during the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers this Saturday, November 22nd.

This budget project includes the new government’s decisions for changes to the next year’s budget revenue and expenses, providing a general government budget revenue forecast of 33.6% of GDP, budget expenses forecast of 34.6% of GDP, budget deficit forecast of 1% of GDP and state debt forecast of 35% of GDP.

The budget plan’s revenue forecast has been increased by 0.6 percentage points in comparison with the plan that was approved October 14th, with deficit remaining at 1% of GDP.

During development of the outlook of macroeconomic indexes, Finance Ministry took into account the sanctions introduced by the EU against Russia and the latter’s response embargo on food products. Nevertheless, there is a large degree of uncertainty in the external environment, which makes it difficult to predict the possible development of the current situation. This is why it has been decided to actualize macroeconomic projections based on the assumption that there will neither be an escalation of geopolitical tension nor de-escalation. It is assumed in the outlook that sanctions against Russia will remain in force and will continue to have a negative impact on Latvia’s economic growth up until the end of 2015, which will be followed by a gradual increase that will reach 3.3% in 2016 and 3.6% in 2017.

As a member of Eurozone, Latvia has to prepare and submit a budget plan to the EC and Eurogroup every year before October 15. This plan has to include forecasts for the country’s main budget indexes – revenue, expenses, deficit and state debt. Information must be provided on the state budget, municipal budget and information regarding state commercial enterprises.

If the country holds elections and it is not possible to compile a budget draft by October 15th, then the government is expected to instead submit a government budget plan that complies with a scenario of unchanged policy – when the main budget indexes are planned under the condition that there will not be any changes to the next government’s expected budget revenue and expenses.

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