Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola from the Union of Greens and Farmers intentionally reports false information and misleads society by claiming that the decision regarding establishment of minimal social fees was the responsibility of the previous governments, says Unity chairman Andris Piebalgs.
The politician emphasizes that the budget preparation process commenced as early as spring, and it was prepared by finance ministry. The one with political responsibility for this budget is Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis. «The argument that there was no word of any planned changes is unprofessional and only serves to emphasize intentional distortion of facts,» – Unity’s press-secretary Laila Timrota adds to Piebalgs’ opinion.
«Claims from Reizniece-Ozola and Kucinskis about alleged lack of knowledge are, at the very least, surprising,» – said the head of Unity, reminding that the finance minister had taken part in all discussions and meetings of work groups that addressed matters regarding the need and opportunities to ensure larger social security to micro-enterprise workers.
Adoption of the Micro-enterprise Tax was a major step forward to improve Latvia’s business environment. To resolve problems associated with taxpayers’ social security, it was planned to start increasing micro-enterprise tax rate starting from 2015. Saeima’s Social and Employment Matters Committee’s head Aija Barca (Union of Greens and Farmers) mentioned the problems associated with social protection of micro-enterprise employees, adding that those people are unable to earn enough to ensure even the minimal pension amount, Unity adds.
The party also notes that then the Economy Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola and business organizations had protested against the initiative to increase the aforementioned tax rate. This effort resulted in the cancellation of the initiative. At the same time, however, work began on the calculation of the size of mandatory social fees for micro-enterprise employees to help resolve the problem of their insufficient social protection and keep the micro-enterprise tax rate on the same level. The work group included representatives from economy ministry, trade unions and business organizations, including Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry, Unity continues.
«It is unclear why the prime minister and finance minister seem to have forgotten their previous opinions and decisions,» – says Piebalgs. Current plans to cancel minimal social fees and rapidly increase micro-enterprise tax go against the promise once given by Kucinskis’ party not, he adds.
«Unity had previously said Kucinskis’ initiative to cancel mandatory minimal social fees and increase micro-enterprise tax to 15% was rushed and would go against the government’s previous decisions. There is no reason to believe claims that raising micro-enterprise tax rate to 15% will resolve problems created by the fact that thousands of people are not provided with appropriate social insurance,» – Timrota said in relation to the party’s position for this matter.