Unofficial information was previously reported regarding proposals voiced by members of the parliament in regards to the possible allocation of at least EUR 1.2 million additional funds. The ruling coalition is currently in talks regarding the allocation of even more money for certain major projects.
According to unofficial information from LETA, deputies may decide on the allocation of additional funding for different sports structures in Ventspils, Liepaja, Jekabpils, Velmiera and Bauska. Funding may be allocated to prepare for the visit of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to Aglona in 2018. Other proposals may be supported as well.
All proposals will be decided on by the government, Saeima’s Budget-Finance Committee and deputies during the parliamentary talks.
As previously reported, the next year’s budget project has received more than 360 proposals. The three-year budget project has received 330 proposals. On top of that, the budget project has also received more than 560 proposals for associated legal drafts, as LETA was informed by the Saeima press-service.
In healthcare, funding increase is planned at nearly EUR 64 million more than this year. This is related to the realization of reforms in healthcare to ensure better accessibility of oncological, diagnostics, rehabilitation and physical healthcare services. Additional funding will also be provided to finish the reconstruction of P.Stradins Hospital’s new building and maintenance of an information system in healthcare.
Defence funding is planned to be EUR 98 million larger in comparison with 2016. This is related to the need to increase the country’s defensive capabilities. Funding for defence is planned to be equal to 1.7% of GDP. In 2018, it is planned to be increased to 2%.
An important increase in funding is expected in the education sector for the further realization of the teachers’ pay reform.
An additional amount of EUR 9 million is planned to be allocated to help resolve demographic problems. It is also planned to increase benefits to large families for the fourth and every next child to EUR 50.07. More support will also be allocated to children who lost their parents.
Minimum wage amount is planned to be increased to EUR 380.
The state budget’s revenue portion is also planned to continue combating grey economy. There are measures planned to prevent the registration of fictive businesses, establish bigger responsibility for payment of taxes in construction, introduce advance payments of social taxes in taxi sector, limit contraband of illegal fuel and introduce the practice of reverse payment of VAT in certain areas. It is also planned to improve control over formalities and customs tax payments for vehicles imported to Latvia, restrict access to internet stored for tax debtors and introduce stricter monitoring of businesses working in the security field.
The 2017 state consolidated budget’s revenue is planned at EUR 8.066 billion; expenditures are planned at EUR 8.367 billion.
The second final reading of the budget is scheduled for 23 November.