Latviski English По-русски
Ceturtdiena 27.10.2016 | Name days: Lilita, Irita, Ita

Reirs: 2016 budget will help keep Latvia among EU’s most rapidly growing economies

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«The next year’s budget is the country’s internal and external security budget. Creation of this budget progressed under complicated conditions. The government had to find a solution to compensate negative fiscal space because of an economic decline of nearly EUR 100 million. It was not a simple and quick solution,» – comments Finance Minister Janis Reirs.

«This budget will help secure additional funding for the country’s internal and external security. It should be adequate and coordinated along with agreements with our strategic partners – NATO and member states of the European Union.

Latvia cannot request other countries to guarantee safety for its borders and residents. We need to invest in security ourselves. In the end, Latvia cannot afford to become a weak link in the region. This is why the Cabinet of Ministers has made a decision – to secure 2% of GDP for defence in 2018. Next year’s funding for the country’s defence will be equal to 1.4% of GDP. That of 2017 will reach 1.7%,» – said the minister.

According to Reirs, «the Cabinet of Ministers prepared the country’s budget for 2016 with plans to strengthen the country’s external and internal security, healthcare accessibility and better education quality.»

Also the government has included major measures aimed at reducing income inequality and tax repressiveness to the budget plan. The government has prepared a budget that complies with the economic situation. The budget complies with fiscal discipline requirements and secures funding for priority industries.

Last year, the government had agreed on multiple measures to help combat shadow economy. Step by step the government worked to reduce the proportion of shadow economy in certain industries, said Reirs.

«Nevertheless, I would like to emphasize that state services and ministries have to work more actively in this regard. It has to be done more effectively on a political and operative level in order to secure more effective combating of tax avoidance. Every ministry should actively work in order to provide fair competition and avid increasing administrative burden for businesses,» – said the minister, adding that reduction of shadow economy is the responsibility of the entire country.

«This is why the next year’s budget contains multiple proposals aimed at limiting unfair business practices. For example, we have decided in the government that rules that govern the use of cash registers and cash register systems will be made stricter in order to prevent violations. Information exchange between credit institutions and State Revenue Service will also be improved. This is necessary in order to allow authorities to gain a clear picture about the origin of acquired finances. It comes as no surprise to anyone that money laundering often goes hand in hand with financing of terrorism.

The government’s objective is to contribute to the development of honest business in our country. Honest and successful businessmen can contribute to the development of the country as a whole.

This is proven by the recently published Doing Business rating of the World Bank. According to it, Latvia’s business environment has improved. Latvia has climbed to 22nd position in this year’s rating. We are ahead of countries like France, Spain, Belgium and even Luxembourg.

Baltic States are on very similar positions. Over the course of one year, Latvia’s business environment has improved considerably in multiple fields – business startup, protection of minority investors and securing completion of commitments. Nevertheless, the credit accessibility index has reduced considerably. Compared with Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia has better credit availability and easier tax-paying order. The government still has a lot of work ahead in order to improve the issue of construction permits, access to electricity and registration of properties,» – said Reirs, adding that transparent and predictable tax policy only contributes to business development. The government has provided such a policy, he said. Over the course of the past five years, the main taxes in Latvia have only decreased.

For example, personal income tax has reduced from 26% to 23% and VAT – from 22% to 21%. Even this year’s tax changes will be felt only by certain groups of residents.

Reirs emphasized that the next year’s budget will still hold up Latvia among the most rapidly developing economies in the European Union. «Strict compliance with the country’s fiscal policy helped us stay our course. We will focus on securing long-term economic growth and responsible fiscal policy in the future,» – he said.


Leave a reply

Changes to Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law and other matters viewed by Saeima

On Thursday, 27 October, the Saeima will gather for a meeting to decide on the new legal draft On Public Procurements. New regulations for procurements provide a number of changes and additions to the current regulations.

Study: Wildlife populations have globally decreased by 58% since 1970s

The numbers of wildlife in the world have since 1970 decreased by 58%, it has been found in a study.

Fine applied to two Knauf Group plasterboard suppliers

On 30 September, Latvia’s Competition Council made the decision to punish Knauf and Knauf Group’s Norgips sp.z.o.o. from Poland for using a loyalty system that considerably restricted competition, thereby breaching the prohibition on abuse of market dominance.

Pharmacies in Sweden restrict sale of paracetamol

Restrictions should be put in place in the sale of paracetamol setting forth a ban to sell more than one pack of the drug to minors, decided Swedish pharmacies on October 26.

Ambassador: we are beneficial to the Chinese, but we can be even better

On 5 November, Latvia will not only be the host for the 16+1 format, but also the destination for the first official visit by the Chinese prime minister, said Latvia’s ambassador in China Maris Selga.

UK pledges to send drones and tanks to Estonia

British defence minister has this week outlined the country’s plans of its involvement in NATO’s push to increase the defence capabilities of Estonia.

Not all Roma happy about Lithuanian firm making tours to largest Roma village in Baltics

Lithuanian Roma representatives have been critical about a tour agency organising sightseeing tours to the village of Kirtimai promoted as «an extreme challenge» having a former drug addict as a guide.

Fifteen Syrian refuges arrive in Latvia from Greece

On Tuesday, 25 October, fifteen people, including nine children, arrived in Latvia from Greece as part of the European Union resettlement programme.

African swine fever reaches Dundaga

Latvian Food and Veterinary Service has received laboratory test results that confirm the presence of African swine fever in two dead wild boards found in Dundaga.

Latvia receives historically highest score in latest Doing Business rating

In the latest Doing Business 2017 study of the World Bank, Latvia is put on the 14th spot among 190 participating countries. This is historically the highest accomplishment for Latvia and an improvement over last year’s result. In terms of business-friendly environment, Latvia is on the 6th place among EU member states.

Raimonds Graube steps down as commander of Latvian Armed Forces

Raimonds Graube, commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces. He said he decided to do so in order to «allow the military chain of command to develop».

Vatican prohibits keeping cremation ashes at home

Leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican has this week announced in its cremation guidelines that the ashes of cremated Catholics may not be scattered or stored at home.

Arrests in Serbia target people involved in spying on PM of Montenegro

The Serbian government has stated on October 24 that a group of persons involved in spying on the Montenegrin head of government have been arrested. «There is irrefutable evidence that some people, and that's not those who were arrested, monitored the movement of the Montenegrin prime minister on a daily basis, every second, telling other people who were supposed to act on it,» Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić stated.

BATL: industry doubts economic justification of electrifying Latvia’s railway network

The project for the electrification of Latvia’s railway network is currently under review by Finance Ministry, Edgars Putra – the ministry’s parliamentary secretary – told Krustpunktā programme of Latvijas Radio on Tuesday, 25 October.

In pictures: France evicts migrants from notorious Jungle tent village

In northern France, near Calais, authorities have commenced transporting migrants away from Jungle, the tent village, where several thousand migrants have been living for years.

Payments of benefits to be stopped for refugees who left Latvia

On Tuesday, 25 October, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the legal draft detailing amendments to the Asylum Law, which were developed to enhance Latvia’s asylum provision system.

Government urged to declassify Citadele Bank’s sale

Saeima’s Public Expenditure and Audit Committee has sent a letter to the Cabinet of Ministers, requesting the latter to lift restricted access status on all information related to the sale of Citadele Bank.

Number of black stork chicks declined significantly this year

The small amount of precipitation has negatively impacted the feeding and nesting of black storks in Latvia, as concluded by the Nature Conservation Agency, which had performed annual monitoring of endangered black storks in cooperation with Latvian State Forests this year.

Estonia not willing to ban fur animal keeping and skinning

Reacting to a call from animal rights activists, Estonian environment and rural affairs ministries have found that there is no reason to prohibit fur farming in the country.

IMF on Estonia: Increase in wages could harm exporter competitiveness

Estonia should take care of rising imbalance of wake increase and lagging productivity to ensure Estonian exporters can be profitable in foreign markets, the International Monetary Fund evaluated.

Study: Gender gap in alcohol consumption smaller as young women drink more

By comparing the drinking habits of four million people born between 1891 and 2001, it has been found in a study that the generations living today have reduced the likelihood of men consuming more alcohol in unhealthy amounts than women.

Criminal process launched in relation to K.Barona Street repairs

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has launched a criminal process in relation to possible forging on documents in the procurement process associated with the reconstruction of K.Barona Street in Riga.

Sirens to be tested across all of Latvia

On Tuesday, 25 October, the State Fire and Rescue Service will conduct a three-minute test of emergency sirens. The test is scheduled for 15:00. It will help determine the function of the system and identify any technical problems.

Belgium bocks CETA, but EU and Canada remain hopeful over signing

The European Union and Canada have stated they still hope to sign their bilateral free trade deal, after the Belgian federal government clarified that it cannot ensure the backing of three regional bodies for the agreement.

This week to be rich with precipitation and cold in Latvia

The anti-cyclone that dictated weather in Latvia over most of October is gradually moving east. It will be replaced by a small and active cyclone. With that, meteorologists expect often precipitation in Latvia this week.

Newest comments