bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 27.04.2018 | Name days: Tāle, Raimonda, Raina, Klementīne
LatviaLatvia

LEC: Latvia risks becoming a country with low quality of life

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU2016 is best described by events whose influence on the business environment and employers will only be possible to assess after some time, according to Latvian Employers’ Confederation’s outlook on positive trends of 2016.

Maris Kucinskis’ Cabinet of Ministers began its work this year. Even before his approval in his new post, Kucinskis and his partners agreed on common priorities. LEC urged the government to ensure the country would be able to achieve positive results next year that would contribute to GDP growth and secure quality of life standards equal to 70% of the average level in the EU. The latter has no turned out so well, unfortunately. It is likely Lithuania and Estonia will do better in this regard, LEC notes.

One of the year’s most important developments was Latvia’s joining of OECD. Joining this organization provided specific benefits and improvements – it was the main driving force behind the capital associations’ management reform and served as a stimulus for state institutions to combat bribery in international business transactions.

At the same time, it should be emphasized that joining OECD will not provide the results expected for the country’s national economy if introduction of OECD recommendations is not finished in a timely fashion, LEC notes.

To express common views and objectives, cooperation and social dialogue principles, LEC, as one of the government’s social partners, signed an agreement with the Prime Minister, Latvian Association of Local Governments, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Latvian Science Academy on 9 August on conditions necessary to ensure national economic growth. It offers optimism and pre-conditions for necessary reforms and changing unfavourable emigration tendency, as well as increasing security of residents, says LEC director general Liga Mengelsone.

«By putting off or avoiding necessary reforms, Latvia risks becoming a country with average level of quality of life below that of the average in the EU, resulting in people leaving it in favour of looking for a better life elsewhere,» – Mengelsone continues.

It is planned to reach an agreement on one of the points next year, specifically in the context of tax policy – review of solidarity tax rate, as this year’s data showed what consequences surfaced as a result of the introduction of this tax.

«Rushed and poorly considered solidarity tax’s introduction has changed the behaviour of taxpayers and has created losses for the state budget,» – Mengelsone said. She adds that data for the tax showed that even though it had provided additional funds for the state budget, the number of large wage recipients has declined. This means the long-term impact on the state budget will be negative. It does not contribute to growth. It also makes the tax system more complicated for medium and large taxpayers.

One of the objectives LEC had proposed for the new government was working on improving indexes in Doing Business rating. In autumn, LEC came to the conclusion that this goal was successfully reached, as Latvia climbed to the 14th place among 189 countries. Unfortunately, not much progress has been achieved. On top of that, not only no progress has been reached in this rating, Latvia has also dropped to 49th place in it. «Latvia’s rating is significantly lower. This is because of the level of bureaucracy in the country’s state administration, the level of development of the country’s infrastructure, quality of healthcare and education policy, as well as tax rates and regulations associated with taxes. Because of that, Latvia’s competitiveness assessment, compared with last year’s results, is five places worse,» – Mengelsone explains.

LEC mentions Saeima’s decision for amendments to the Insolvency Law as one of the positive accomplishments of 2016. New regulations are but part of many measures on the road towards sorting out insolvency process. Businessmen expect work will continue to create legal and safe business environment for investments.

In spite of certain exceptions, the year can be described with the word ‘cooperation’. Although LEC believes recent decisions in budget and tax affairs are not very good, businessmen emphasize that it has been possible to establish active, mutually beneficial dialogue with Kucinskis’ government.

It is highly important to continue the dialogue, find common ground and reach agreements on the tax policy strategy next year. Results will demonstrates whether or not interests of businessmen have been taken into account and whether or not government representatives understand tax policy is a good tool for development of the national economy.

LEC and LCCI have already prepared their proposals for the medium-term tax policy to ensure the creation of a great business environment and accomplish economic breakthrough. Some of the most important principles are stability and predictability.

In the context of a better tax policy, it is important to resolve the matter regarding employees’ social security, as keeping this matter unresolved could potentially cause very unpleasant consequences in the future and increase pressure on residents’ social protection. LEC believes it is also important to add mandatory health insurance components in the current social tax rate.

In the context of national economy development, one of the most important objectives for next year is reviewing the mandatory procurement component for electricity, considering the current MPC for large producer companies is currently too high. This does not contribute to overall competitiveness of those companies and only serves to reduce the ability of industry participants to invest and ensure wage increase.

Ref: 102.109.109.5797


Leave a reply

Lithuania: can alcolocks be a panacea to reckless booze-driven behaviour?

A horrible accident in which a 24-old girl sitting in a taxi was killed last weekend in Vilnius, when a rented City Bee car being driven by a DUI driver rammed into the cab, prompted a wave of new debates whether Lithuania, having waged war against alcohol-related maladies, ought to proceed with a law requiring to install ignition interlock devices in rental cars. And maybe not only in them.

Latvia’s Saeima supports starting school at the age of six

Latvia’s parliament supported in the first reading amendments to the General Education Law and Education Law that provide a flexible transition to compulsory primary education at the age of six, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

April’s final week expected to be warm and rainy in Latvia

Warmer masses of air will flow into Latvia in the last days of April and the first days of May. It is possible that air temperature may reach +23° C. However, this warmth will pass with thunderstorms, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Economist: Latvia’s future depends on people’s patience; politicians mostly focus on near future

«People in Latvia currently live better than they ever have. Still, income level in Western Europe and elsewhere in the world will remain higher for some time.» Which predictions about banking sector’s operations have come true, and what is going on with ‘pained child’ – Latvia’s judicial system? Luminor Bank’s economist Pēteris Strautiņš explains in an interview to BNN.

FCMC chief: ABLV Bank’s closure was not the goal of FinCEN report

The report published in February by US Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network about ABLV Bank was not prepared with the goal in mind to close the bank, said chief of Latvia’s Finance and Capital Market Commission Pēters Putniņš at a public hearing organized by European Parliament’s TAX3 committee in Brussels.

Study: wages in Latvia grew more rapidly in 2017 than they did in previous years

As a result of economic growth and increasing labour force demand, remuneration level in Latvia in 2017 has reached the most rapid rate in the past several years. Average net wage in Latvia has increased by 6%, reaching EUR 894, according to results of a study performed by CV-Online Latvia.

Number of foreign travellers in Latvia up 53.2% in past seven years

In 2017, foreign travellers crossed the border of Latvia 7.7 million times, which is 13.7 % more than a year before. Last year, foreign travellers in Latvia spent EUR 691.9 million – EUR 46.7 million or 7.2 % more than in 2016.

Experts shocked about HIV patients’ reluctance to undergo treatment

The number of HIV patients that underwent treatment in Q1 2018 did not change in Latvia even though a considerable amount of funding was allocated from the state budget for HIV/AIDS treatment in 2018. This creates concerns about HIV patients’ use of healthcare services, according to Association HIV.LV.

Danske Bank to gradually cease servicing Baltic clients

In Baltic States, Danske Bank plans to focus solely on providing support to subsidiaries of Nordic clients, as well as global corporations with a considerable business portion in Nordic countries. Leaving private persons and local businesses servicing sector will be performed in a gradual manner, as reported by acting manager of Danske Bank’s Communication Office in Latvia Zane Strade.

Latvian Saeima establishes ban for banks to service shell companies

Banks registered in Latvia will no longer be allowed to work with shell companies and service their accounts. This is provided by amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing approved by the Saeima on Thursday, 26 April, as confirmed by the parliament’s press-service.

Ex-minister: Latvia’s biggest problem is the older generation of politicians

Older generation of politicians is Latvia’s largest problem. Some of those people are due for retirement. This is why the main objective for ‘Kustība Par!’ is involving a new generation of young and perspective politicians, says the party’s leader Daniels Pavļuts.

Danske Bank may announce its exit from Baltic States

Danske Bank Group’s office in Lithuania may announce on Thursday, 27 April, its plans to leave Lithuania and, possibly, the Baltic States, as BNS news agency’s Lithuanian branch was told by two sources.

«Oligarch talks» publication law put on hold; will fabricated «risks» impact UGF?

On Tuesday, 25 April, Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee decided against putting up for a vote the legislative draft for the digitization and publication of the declassified portion of materials from the so-called oligarch talks criminal case.

OECD to perform independent audit of decisions made by Latvian supervisory services

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development plans to perform an independent audit of decisions made by the Finance Capital and Market Commission and Anti-money Laundering Service, as confirmed by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola after a meeting of Finance Sector Development Council on 25 April.

Level of prices of agricultural products in Latvia grew 11.6% in 2017

The total price index of agricultural output in 2017 had increased by 11.6 %, which was mainly due to the rise in prices of livestock products of 25.8 %. The price index of crop products grew by 2.2 %.

51% of residents would not purchase goods production of which would pollute the environment

Environment-friendly lifestyle in Latvia, like elsewhere in the world, is becoming more popular every day. So-called green thinking also affects Latvian residents’ habits. 53% of Latvian residents prefer goods and services that help protect the environment, according to results of a study performed by AS Latvijas Zaļais punkts.

World Press Freedom index ranks Estonia highest among Baltic states

The French-based organisation Reporters Without Borders has published its 2018 World Press Freedom index, where Estonia has been ranked 12th and Latvia has been moved up by four positions to the 24th place.

Abu Meri: parliamentary investigative committee could help combat corruption in Riga City Council

«Nils Ušakovs’ policy in Riga is not only non-democratic but also allows for systematic corruption, which has become a tradition. If a week goes by with no scandal, it seems too long. Because of that, I consider forming a parliamentary investigative committee to study corruption in Riga City Council,» said Unity’s Saeima faction leader Hosams Abu Meri in an interview to BNN.

200 thousand Estonian e-mail passwords found leaked online

The global database of the illegally leaked passwords of tons of e-mail addresses contains passwords used by some 215 000 Estonian internet users.

Latvian EC Commissioner invites businesses to prepare for all Brexit scenarios

Businesses and supervisors should prepare for all possible Brexit scenarios, said Deputy Chairman of the European Commission on Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Market Union Valdis Dombrovskis participating in the ongoing finance forum City Week in the UK.

Latvia prepared to pay 4.8 million euros for participation in Expo 2020 in Dubai

Latvian government is prepared for participation in the international Expo 2020 in Dubai. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis said after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers this Tuesday that it is planned to allocate EUR 4.8 million for this venture.

Spanish resort city to prohibit renting apartments to tourists

Palma, the Spanish resort city in the Mediterranean island of Majorca, has adopted a restriction that apartment will be not allowed to rent their apartments to travellers, becoming the first place in Spain to introduce such a ban.

Supreme Court of Justice views Kristovskis’ claim against Ventspils City Council

On 25 April, the Administrative Cases Department of the Supreme Court of Justice will be viewing two claims submitted by Ventspils City Council deputy Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis against the city council. «The fact that the case will be viewed verbally and that the defendants include Ventspils City Council, EPRDM and Association of Local Governments is considered unique and unprecedented in Latvia’s court practice,» says Kristovskis.

Messaging app Whatsapp not to be available to under-16s in EU

The smartphone messaging app Whatsapp plans to raise the minimum age limit to its European Union users from 13 to 16 years, as it is adjusting its rules of use to the upcoming EU data privacy regulations.

Saeima speaker in Tallinn: EU and NATO cooperation in defence should be enhanced

Close cooperation between European Union and NATO in defence is now more important than ever. This is especially true for cyber security and hybrid-thread prevention, said Latvian Saeima’s speaker Ināra Mūrniece during a meeting of EU member states parliaments in Tallinn on Tuesday, 24 April.