bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 15.12.2017 | Name days: Jana, Johanna, Hanna
LatviaLatvia

Money provided for deputy quotas is wasted; no one wants to take responsibility

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe so-called deputy quotas first appeared at the end of the 90s – Prime Minister Vilis Kristopans’ minority government managed to secure support from the opposition for the state budget with LVL 2 million. Since then the opportunity to divide money for different books, films, municipal museums and roads has been a traditional part of the budget creation process. The same thing happened this year; only this time deputies managed to exceed the limit. Instead of the previous two to three million, deputies managed to secure ten times more.

No one wants to take responsibility for allowing deputies to spend EUR 20 million from the budget for emergencies, Nekā personīga programme of TV3 reports.

The government approved the budget on 13 October. The finance minister then carried it to the Saeima. Deputies submitted more than 600 proposals for EUR 180 million. Commissions then sent those proposals to the government for review. Following Karlis Sadurskis’ initiative, the Education Ministry then allocated EUR 9.1 million to six sports objects, two science projects and Ventspils Music School and then sent the budget back to the Saeima.

On 24 November, the Saeima voted in the final reading. In addition to proposals, deputies also voted in favour of deputy quotas worth more than EUR 20 million. This is very different from what deputies promised in September, when only EUR 2.8 million was intended for additional expenditures.

Deputies explain the allocation of EUR 20 million from the budget for emergencies with the general practice to divide the money every year.

Members of the budget committee could not say why the chosen amount was EUR 20 million and who was it that proposed such an amount. This was the agreement in the coalition, they said. The Union of Greens and Farmers demanded the money to be divided. Other parties were eager as well. «As far as I can understand from what the prime minister said, clear signals came from UGF in regards to providing support to municipalities worth several millions. And then other coalition parties said, if I may explain it simply. They said – this cannot be allowed. A faction cannot simply take money from the budget and give it to its municipalities. That said, if we are to allow that, we have to consider the interests of other coalition parties,» – explains Saeima deputy Ints Dalderis.

The money has been divided, but there are no people to be made responsible for its use. Deputies claim Finance Ministry did not protest. «The ministry does condone misuse of finances from the emergency budget. We understand that next year will not be easy, which is largely because of the geopolitical situation and economical risks and vice versa. We urged the creation of a safety pillow. It is important to ensure fiscal reserve. I would say we have a minimum – approximately EUR 40 million. Other deputies have used their right in proposals,» – said Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

«Formally speaking, everything is prepared well. If you look at proposals from parties, everything opposed – the government does not support them. So there is no government support. With that, there is no formal support from the prime minister or the finance minister.

They can say the Saeima decided everything on its own and they cannot do anything about it. It is no big problem that the prime minister and finance minister turned their back to the little box called the budget for emergencies when deputies found money in it. They turned away and said – do with it what you want,» – says Saeima deputy and Budget and Finance Committee member Martins Bondars.

The amount provided for unexpected expenditures was unnaturally large this year – nearly EUR 56 million.

«There is no decision in which we could look for the ones responsible. We simply have to take collective responsibility for the botched budget approval procedure and make conclude that budgets should not be approved in such a way. We should have agreed on reasonable limits and procedures. We did not do that. The government did not support any one of those proposals. […] If the Saeima supports many proposals, one should not expect applause for this process. It is impossible to get a djinn back into the bottle,» – said the Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis.

The Fiscal Discipline Council criticizes the Saeima and the government for increasing budget expenditures at the expense of Defence Ministry. This means deputy quotas have reduces the amount of funding Latvia could have spent on its army, the programme reports.

Ref: 102.109.109.5098


Leave a reply

Citadele Index: businessmen are more optimistic about economic growth

After a four-year gap, optimism has been noticed in all of Latvia’s business sectors. For the third consecutive quarter Citadele Index value exceeds 50 points. Businessmen are also positive about the country’s economy and their own finances, according to the final Citadele Index study for 2017.

Bank of Latvia increases GDP growth outlook to 4.7% for 2017

Bank of Latvia has decided in increase gross domestic product growth outlook from 4.2% to 4.7% for 2017, as reported by the bank’s governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs.

Latvian residents’ opinion of government’s work remains negative

Latvian residents voiced the biggest degree of dissatisfaction about the development of the situation in Latvia and the work performed by the government. Although the previous evaluation of government’s work had increased by four points, it has since declined by two points, according to data from Baltic International Bank’s Latvian Barometer.

Eel fishing to be restricted in Baltic Sea for three months

European Union Fisheries Council has decided to restrict eel fishing for three months in 2018 in all waters, including the Baltic Sea. Although the World Wide Fund for Nature and environmental organization in Europe view it as a notable first step, these efforts are unlikely to have a major impact on the most important problem – eel population continues declining rapidly, as noted by WWF.

LCCI: increase of electricity bills for thousands of companies in unacceptable

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) categorically opposes increasing electricity bills for the majority of small and medium-sized companies due to mandatory procurement component’s differentiation. The organization believes that this would basically introduce a new additional tax, making them even less competitive.

Head of Latvian Association of Regions to spend Christmas thinking on remaining in the party

Dissatisfied with multiple decisions made by Latvian Association of Regions (LAR), Riga City Council member Mārtiņš Bondars will spend the holiday thinking about his place in this political party, as he mentioned in his interview to Rīta panorama or LTV.

Estonian fund permitted to purchase several Latvia energy production companies

Latvian Competition Council has permitted Estonian fund to purchase several energy production and agricultural companies.

Meat processing giant sees room for growth in ready-to-eat foods

Consumption in the meat market segment of ready-to-eat foods is growing quickly, evaluated Finnish meat processing group HKScan that is planning to invest eight million euros in its factory in Estonia.

To fight for national minority schools, Russian representatives promise to hold a referendum

Defenders of Russian schools in Latvia promise to organize a referendum for autonomy of national minority schools, said co-chairman of Latvian Russians Association Miroslavs Mitrofanovs in regards to the transition to education only in Latvian language.

Tax payment process from capital growth to change in Latvia

As part of the tax reform, changes will be added to the Personal Income Tax Law starting from 1 January 2018. One of the changes is associated with payment and declaration of income from capital growth. The tax rate and the term for submission of declarations on income from capital growth will change next year.

Tusk deems EU migrant quotas ineffective as some states oppose taking in migrants

Donald Tusk, the head of the Council of the European Union and chairman of this week's EU summit, has evaluated that mandatory EU-wide quotas are ineffective and that there is a split between east and west as regards asylum policy.

Riga City Council’s 2018 budget – poorly planned or well-developed?

As the vote for the 2018 budget of Riga City Council draws near, representatives of all opposition parties say they will not support it as long as politicians of the ruling coalition continue viewing the city’s most important financial document as good and aimed at development.

Euro area economy has grown quicker than expected, European Central Bank estimated

Growth has been at a faster pace in the eurozone prompting the European Central Bank to raise its economic growth forecasts.

Weekends in Latvia expected to be snowy

A layer of snow will form in Latvia’s central and western regions that will remain until the middle of next week, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Opinion: Latvia at risk of restricting healthcare to 300,000 people

Kustība Par! political party has sent a letter to Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis, asking him to return to the Saeima the recently approved law on healthcare funding legislative draft. According to the party, the law restricts healthcare for 300,000 people in Latvia.

Lithuania’s 2018 budget focuses on spending cuts, NATO commitment and social security

Lithuania's 2018 budget, approved this week by the Seimas, Lithuanian Parliament, makes history for being the first budget ever with fewer spending for the governmental sector, the commitment to NATO of earmarking 2 per cent of the gross domestic product to defence and bigger allotments for social security. The budget was adopted by 84 MPs, 29 voted against, with 15 abstentions.

EU member states have to strengthen measures against sexual abuse of children

Member states of the European Union have to take more serious measures and cooperate more intensely with Europol and information technology industry to better combat sexual abuse of children, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

Latvian parliament views initiative for changing VAT rate for food product

On Thursday, 14 December, Latvia’s Saeima made its decision on the collective application that proposes reducing VAT on everyday healthy food products and increasing VAT on unhealthy products.

Maxima: residents have become more conservative in their choice of products

In Q2 and Q3, a higher degree of conservatism was noticed in residents’ choice of products. The number of buyers who gladly purchase new products has declined, whereas the number of buyers who do not change anything in their purchasing habits has increased, according to results of a study performed by Maxima.

Civil processes to be sped up and simplified in Latvia

On Thursday, 14 December, Saeima supported amendments to the Civil Process Law in the final reading. Amendments propose several major changes to the process of review of civil processes to make court sessions quicker and more efficient.

State Auditor dissatisfied with parliament’s slow legislative process

Latvian State Auditor Elita Krūmiņa plans to inquire to the Saeima about the delay with the approval of the legislative draft on the expansion of authority of her institution, as she mentioned in an interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.

Aldaris commences exports to France, China and Netherlands

Aldaris concludes 2017 with three new export contracts, commencing exports of products to China, France and Netherlands. Until now Aldaris has exported products to eight markets, with the largest one being United Kingdom, taking up 78.71% from Aldaris export volume, as reported by the company.

Estonian budget passed with 0.25 billion-euro deficit

The Estonian Riigikogu with 55 votes against 41 has passed the country’s 2018 state budget bill planning to spend by 0.25 billion more than it is planned to earn.

AFSAL: loan requests in non-banking industry are declined in 69% of all cases

In the first six months of 2017 Alternative Financial Services Association of Latvia (AFSAL) issued a total amount of EUR 84.7 million in consumer loans. No increase is noted in this amount when compared with the same period of 2016. Increase did not exceed 0.2%, as reported by the association.

European Parliament supports changes for combating activities detailed in Panama Papers

Public registries with names of true owners of businesses, effective protection of whistle-blowers and stricter requirements for financial intermediaries are some of the proposals intended to assist with the fight against tax avoidance, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

When do you go shoping for Christmas gifts?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: