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Municipal Finances Equalization draft submitted to the Saeima for review

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThis Tuesday, April 14th, the Budget-Finance Committee decided to submit the draft On Equalization of Municipal Finances developed by the Finance Ministry to the Saeima for review.

Chairperson of the committee, Karlis Sadurskis, noted that ‘Finance Ministry has managed to prepare a draft for the equalization of finances that is socially responsible and oriented toward balanced development of regions. It is important to have social partners that represent interests of municipalities to be involved in the development of the draft. More than half of Latvia’s municipalities have seen the draft and have expressed support to the new financial equalization model’.

Sadurskis also emphasizes that the new financial equalization model will be simple and more comprehensive. It will also include criteria that comply with the current situation.

The draft has been developed in order to provide at least partial equalization of the established differences in finances of Latvian municipalities and their ability to carry out initiatives and manage their resources in accordance with the law.

The new model also includes multiple demographic criteria as well – the number of residents in a given region, the number of children under the age of six in a given family and the number of children under the age of 18, the number of residents of labour age and the size of municipal territory.

The draft provides for the calculation of grants and fees for municipalities in accordance with a special formula that will include average income per capita, as reported by Saeima press-service.

The new model also provides the introduction of a transition period in order to make sure none of the municipalities suffer loss of revenue.

The current system is too complicated and does not provide regionally balanced division of finances among municipalities. On top of that, the current model provides for economically unjustified division of finances among cities of the republic, as noted by Finance Ministry.

It is planned to adopt the new model at the beginning of 2016. The Budget-Finance Committee has decided to request the Saeima to add the review of this draft to be included on the parliament’s agenda for April 16th and approve it in the first reading.

Ref: 102.109.109.3845


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