Riga City Council intends to keep budget priorities the same for 2017. This includes social assistance, support for families, education and security. It is also planned to divert significant funds towards repairs of streets and education institutions.
In addition, there are also multiple important projects in mind, such as work on reconstruction of the large stage in Mezaparks and preparation for events associated with the country’s 100th birthday.
The biggest repair plans are intended for Brivibas Street (Lacplesis Street – Air Bridge), Kr.Valdemara Street, Elizabetes Street, Stabu Street, Dzirnavu Street (Gogola Street – Terbatas Street) and Merkela Street. EUR 11.6 million will be allocated for those purposes. Funding for repairs in driveways in different quarters will reach EUR 4 million, as reported by Riga City Council.
EUR 0.5 million will be allocated to establish active leisure and playgrounds in Mezciems, Bolderaja, Ziepniekkalns, Agenskalns, Imanta, Kengarags and elsewhere in Riga. Funding for the reconstruction of Mezaparks large stage will reach EUR 7.3 million. Construction of three social homes on Mezrozisu Street and Sturmanu Street will cost EUR 2 million. Construction of an African savannah complex in Riga Zoological Garden will cost EUR 1.12 million. Major finances from investment programmes are allocated every year to repairs of different education institutions – EUR 26 million. The biggest projects include Riga’s 64 primary school, Riga Centre Humanitarian Secondary School and renovation work in many other education institutions around Riga.
Saeima’s approved state budget for 2017 mentions that the minimal wage in Latvia will be EUR 380 a month. City budget will allocate an additional amount of EUR 0.6 million. In 2016, the education industry was heavily influenced by Education and Science Ministry’s teachers’ pay model. This resulted in wages reducing for many teachers in Riga. The new teachers’ pay model will also have a significant impact on Riga municipality’s budget expenditures in 2017. EUR 9.8 million will be allocated from the budget to pay salaries.
Teachers of Riga’s general education institutions will receive health insurance policies paid by the municipality. To secure necessary procurements, the municipality will divert EUR 1.1 million for this goal. Additional funding is also planned to continue cooperation with the private sector in 2017. It is planned to allocate EUR 13.4 million for this purpose.
The volume of contribution to the Local government financial equalization fund will be EUR 91.8 million in 2017. This is EUR 4.9 million more when compared with 2016. Riga municipality’s base budget for 2017 is planned with revenue in mind worth EUR 865.7 million and expenditures worth EUR 894.7 million. Budget deficit is planned at 3.3%.
International rating agencies view Riga’s financial situation as stable. Riga’s rating in long-term and short-term commitments was BBB+/A-2 level with a stable future outlook in October 2016.