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Friday 23.02.2018 | Name days: Haralds, Almants

Latvia’s new government plans to achieve annual 5% GDP growth

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«A good motivation for future work and decision is the fact that Latvia’s economy is one of the most rapidly growing ones in Europe. The government’s objective is to maintain this. But I do not mean a pedal-to-the-metal approach to things – I mean reasonable growth. The government has taken upon itself to achieve 5% GPD growth annually,» – said Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma before the confidence vote in the Saeima.

She added: «We will improve paid social services and officials’ work. Not because it is in a bad state. We know of many examples when people to whom we say thank you receive their pay from taxes paid by the public. We know many excellent teachers, doctors, officials, police officers and soldiers. We are certain about our fire-fighters’, police officers’ and doctors’ commitment in Zolitude.

In order to improve welfare of families in Latvia and ensure survival of the nation, the goal of the next four years is the reduction of social inequality. We will work so that everyone, especially the people with low income and families with multiple children, have an opportunity to work, gain income to survive, acquire education, healthcare and social services. We believe this is the way to maintain social security in the country and improve everyone’s ties with community and civil society’s activities, offering an opportunity for everyone to live in Latvia that knows its national identity and bases its foundation on Latvian residents’ moral values.»

«Starting with 2016, we will introduce a progressive tax-free allowance, which will allow us to increase wages for small-wage recipients and also maintain the same level for those who are paid wages that are above the average in the country. At the same time, we will also increase PIT benefits for dependants.

One of the most significant matters the new government will need to resolve is the improvement of the country’s healthcare. A person who is no longer able to partake in the labour market because of a disability or pension is a loss for all of us.

We will gradually increase state budget funding for the needs of state healthcare. At the same time, we will use finances allocated for healthcare more effectively in order to reduce inequality of healthcare services for people with low income, reduce healthcare costs for healthcare services and expand the range of medicine and medical equipment availability,» – promises the Prime Minister.

«Quality is the keyword for development of Latvia’s education system. The same applies to availability of education institutions close to home. Quality should be the keyword for all levels of education. It is important to create a system that would allow young teachers to enter. In order to help a small society be more competitive and more able to survive, there has to be an exceptional education system. The same way it is in Finland. This is why we plan to reorganize young teachers’ training programmes.

Rural schools have a historic, spiritual and economic value in Latvia. They form the foundation of cultural and social live in Latvian counties. We will create a school network development model that will include a programme for preservation of Latvian rural schools. We will provide more attention to exact sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry) in order to improve the foundation of knowledge for students. We will introduce a new model for higher education financing that will be based on assessment of quality of education programmes,» – said the Prime Minister.

One of the main priorities of the new government is security in every sense of the word. «I would set strengthening of Latvia’s national security as the first priority. Events in Ukraine have forced us to remember what we fought for on the barricades. I have received my mandate from voters to protect Latvia, its language, culture and people. It is the objective the countrymen who had been sent in exile have given us. It is a responsibility that was once shouldered by founders of our country and patriots who gave their lives for Latvia. My government has approved a plan that provides for increasing the country’s defence budget to 2% of GDP in the next two years. It is our country’s duty and the duty of our strategic partners. We have to support our country’s internal security by supporting development of our internal system.

Security also means energy independence and diversification of energy sources. This is why we are doing all we can in order to diversify gas supplies and develop other energy sectors. This will be one of the main priorities for the next government as well,» – promises Straujuma.

«The composition of the new government is professional and hard-working. We have managed to balance fresh views, experience and succession – my team includes four ministers who do not have prior experience in the government, seven who worked in my first government and two with experience working in the government,» – said Straujuma in her speech.


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