bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 21.06.2018 | Name days: Monvīds, Egita, Emīls
LatviaLatvia

Vilks: UGF’s proposal to think more about spending could serve to ruin the government

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIt has become popular to write off almost all expenses of Latvian ministries as measures to strengthen state security. This is done specifically to make it hard to oppose them. This applies to wages of fire fighters, postmen, railway workers, road maintenance expenses, teachers’ wage reformation and possible raising of minimum wages in Latvia.

Ministers often mention measures to combat shadow economy as the chief solution to all expenses. Nevertheless, multiple well-written plans have been delayed. For example, Finance Ministry had asked Saeima deputies to reform the Law on Commerce last year. This was proposed in order to prevent tax fraudsters from using firms registered behind fictive names abroad. Instead, foreigners wishing to register would have to personally come to the Register of Enterprises to do all the paperwork – this was the suggestion provided by the ministry. This year’s budget has a total of EUR 6 million intended to help fix this flaw. Unfortunately, Saeima deputies decided to oppose this intention, as reported by Nekā personīga programme.

EUR 32,642,776 had been divided in the first months of 2015 for state emergencies. It is stated in requirements of the Cabinet of Ministers that this money is intended for covering damages done by natural disasters. However, it seems the ministry does not intend to follow its own rules.

Culture Ministry requested a total of EUR 201,000 to be allocated from the money for emergencies to organize the 25th anniversary on May 4th. EUR 5.5 million were divided to maintain the current rate of micro-enterprise tax. Justice Ministry has requested EUR 430 thousand to pay for equipment for State Forensic Science Centre. 35 requests have been satisfied using money originally intended for emergencies.

«Unfortunately, every other meeting I have missed so far has included matters regarding money intended for emergencies. I have not taken part in meetings that discussed these matters. I believe it is wrong to have reserved all of those funds. As far as I can understand, the government has decided that ministries would pool their resources should an actual emergency arise,» – said Finance Minister Janis Reirs.

The Prime Minister has said that ministers had been offered to retain 1-3% of budget money and hand it to those who can offer new options for the state to increase revenue or improve service quality. Ministers did not support this intention.

Fiscal Discipline Council recommends ministries to drop unreasonable financing requests next year. This council was originally formed during Valdis Dombrovskis’ government. The council includes representatives from the Saeima, Finance Ministry and Bank of Latvia. Janis Platais, Chairperson of the Council and consultant to the International Monetary Fund and potential candidate for the post of Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Latvia during crisis years, believes the amounts ministries request from the budget are too large.

«Ministries’ wishes to spend money are incredibly large. We do not see any options how their desires can be balanced with resources currently available in the state budget. […] According to information available to the Fiscal Discipline Council, ministries want an additional EUR 700 million to cover expenses in 2016. This is a very large amount,» – said Platais.

«I cannot remember a single year in which money intended for emergencies had run out just as quickly. Ministers now see this as completely normal. I remember 2009-2011 was a very hard period for us. Ministries had requested money then as well. But there had been a meaning to the name finances for emergencies at the time. Now it is used as an option. […] This is a very bad situation,» – believes former Finance Minister of Latvia Andris Vilks.

Vilks recalls the Union of Greens and Farmers had been against euro in Latvia. He had also heard proposals from UGF to think less about austerity and more about spending. Vilks mentions this as one of the reasons why Straujuma’s government is at risk of collapse.

He warns – the worst thing that could happen is for Latvia to have a large budget deficit. This would only worsen relations with Europe. International credit rating agencies could take action as well and reduce Latvia’s positive index. This would be a signal to investors that Latvia is not a good business partner.

Ref: 102.109.109.3748


Leave a reply

Latvian Economy Minister endures no-confidence vote

Saeima declined opposition deputies’ request for dismissal of Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Swedbank economist becomes new member of Bank of Latvia Council

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s Saeima approved Mārtiņš Kazāks in his new post as member of Bank of Latvia Council, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

Pope Francis’ visit to Latvia will be a national holiday

Latvia’s parliament has approved in the final reading a law that makes 24 September – the day Pope Francis plans to visit Latvia – a national holiday.

ICT specialist numbers in Latvia are below Europe’s average level

In Latvia, information and communication technology specialists form only 2.2% of all employed people in the country, which is considerably below the average level in the European Union – 3.7%. Romania and Greece are the only two EU member states in which the number of ICT specialists is below Latvia’s, according to European Commission’s DESI index.

Hungary adopts prison sentence for helping migrants

Hungarian National Assembly has passed a set of laws criminalising with prison terms some help provided to illegal immigrants by non-governmental organisations.

Harmony plans turning to Constitutional Court to prevent transition to Latvian language in schools

«Why should this reform stay unrealized? It is because schools are not prepared for cardinal changes coming from dozens of other reforms that have already shocked the country’s entire general education system,» says chairman of National Minority School Parents Forum and member of Harmony’s work group in Konstantīns Čekušins.

Deputies detained in KPV LV criminal case not declared suspects yet

Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš and businessman Viesturs Tamužs detained in the criminal process regarding possibly illegal funding of KPV LV party have not yet been declared suspects. Both are currently in police custody. It is likely Kaimiņš will be released later today, 21 June.

Production of mines and grenades planned in Estonia

As the Estonian parliament has adopted new rules on military arms and ammunition production in the country, local defence firm Eesti Arsenal has voiced its plan to build a factory in Estonia to make military explosives.

Total tax debts in Latvia reached EUR 1.224 billion in June

At the beginning of June, total tax debts in Latvia, including topical, halted debts and extended repayment terms were equal to EUR 1.233 billion, which is 0.6% less compared to May, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Switch off internet nationwide during exams – Algerian approach

In an attempt to prevent cheating during secondary school exams, the north African nation Algeria, has turned off internet in its whole territory.

Control Service proposes kicking out shell companies as intensely as offshore companies

Shell companies in Latvia should be combated with the same intensity once shown to offshore companies, says chief of Anti-Money Laundering Service Ilze Znotiņa.

EU imposes tariffs on blue jeans, motorcycles and other U.S. export goods

The European Union will introduce retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports on Friday, EU Trade Commissioner has stated a top official has stated in the bloc's reaction to Washington imposing steep duties on steel and aluminium earlier in June.

Latvia’s Saeima proposes improving job-combining rules for state officials

On Wednesday, 20 June, Latvian parliament’s Public Administration and Local Government Committee decided to submit for review amendments to the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials.

Ukraine's anti-corruption court law insufficient to IMF commitments

The International Monetary Fund has commended the Ukrainian parliament for passing a law to establish an anti-corruption court and pointed to need to amend it to ensure the court can work effectively.

Opinion: they’re trying to shut us up; KPV LV is inconvenient for current government

«We are inconvenient for the current government, the established order, because for the first time a party is prepared to use facts in its rhetoric in the pre-election period. They are trying to shut us up,» said KPV LV prime minister candidate Aldis Gobzems at a press-conference after Artuss Kaimiņš was taken away by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Hydro and wind power plants produced 70.5% more electricity last year

In 2017 gross energy consumption in Latvia comprised 194.9 petajoules, which is 5.5 % more than in 2016. Over the past five years, the gross energy consumption has not changed significantly. However the share of renewable energy has increased by 2.55 percentage points.

Milder penalties for the accused in digital TV case; idea’s authors get no prison sentence

Riga Regional Court has released a shortened ruling in the so-called digital television criminal case. With it, the court acquitted previously convicted former director of Latvia’s National Theatre Ojārs Rubenis. Nevertheless, some of the accused have been sentenced to fines and actual prison time.

Estonian traitor Simm ruled to serve full 12.5 years in prison

A court in Tartu has decided that the Estonian Defence Ministry ex-official Herman Simm, found guilty of treason in 2009 and sentenced to 12.5 years in jail, has to serve his full sentence, not to be released earlier.

CPCB officers detain Kaimiņš after Saeima meeting

Officers of Latvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau detained Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš after the end of the parliament’s meeting.

Around 15% of Estonian 15-19-year-olds estimated to have mental illness

In Estonia, an estimated total of 20,000-40,000 adolescents, comprising 10-20% of all teenage Estonians, have been found to suffer from a mental illness and close to 3,000 children have been prescribed antidepressants.

Chief: Anti-Money Laundering Service should not submit to a single person

Anti-Money Laundering Service should not be controlled by a single person, says chief of the Control Service Ilze Znotiņa.

Saeima permits commencement of criminal process against Artuss Kaimiņš

This week Latvia’s Saeima voted in favour of the decision to detain and then perform a search in the home of Saeima member Artuss Kaimiņš from KPV LV political party.

U.S. withdraws from UN Human Rights Council voicing sharp criticism

The U.S. has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council describing the body as being politically biased and not working towards reducing human rights violations globally.

Latvian minister confirms interrogation by Lithuanian investigators

In the case regarding possible corruption in the National Blood Centre, Lithuanian services have interrogated Latvia’s Healthcare Minister Anda Čakša, as confirmed by the official.

Recreational use of marijuana legalised in Canada

Canadian Parliament has adopted a law legalising the recreational use of marijuana nationwide after medical use of the drug has been allowed since 2001. Canada is to become the second country in the world allow buying marijuana for recreational use.