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Tuesday 20.03.2018 | Name days: Made, Irbe

Welfare Ministry: families not receiving anything due to benefit restrictions is a myth

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, Jana Muizniece

Jana Muizniece

It is a myth that families will not receive anything due to the set benefit ceiling. The amount of benefits is still relatively normal, especially of parental benefits, the Welfare Ministry’s Social Insurance Department Director Jana Muižniece states in an interview to the agency LETA.

When setting the benefit restrictions benefit relation to social insurance is still maintained, because with monthly income over 350 lats people get 50% of the sum exceeding 350 lats. Overall, restrictions will apply to about 16 000 persons, 32.5% of the restrictions will apply to maternity, paternity and sickness benefit recipients, 28% – to parental benefit recipients and 16% – to unemployment benefit recipients, she says, adding that it is necessary to extend the benefit ceiling until late 2014 due to the social budget deficit.

The social deficit will maintain until 2014 and there are no funds to cover it. Comparing with a family budget – if I do not have money, I will give up on something, rather than take a loan to maintain the previous level of comfort. And we are not speaking here about whether the benefit ceiling is low or everyone gets the same amount, Muižniece indicates.

She emphasizes that with the economic situation improving, it will be possible to revoke the restrictions sooner, because the Cabinet of Ministers reviews all the restrictions twice a year and if the budget situation changes, at any time it can propose to cancel the set restriction.

For instance, if an economic miracle happens in 2013 and there is no budget deficit but a surplus, restrictions may be lifted without waiting until the end of 2014, explains the institution’s Director.

However, if the benefit ceiling is revoked already now, we will borrow more money and pay back more, because interest rates have to be paid as well. The math is very simple, in such cases the family budget example should be remembered – if I want to live well now I will borrow money, but tomorrow I must return it, yet together with interest payments, Muižniece points out.

As reported, the opposition parties have gathered 37 deputies’ signatures, requesting the President to prevent passing the Saeima adopted amendments to several laws, stipulating sickness, maternity, paternity, parental and unemployment benefit restrictions will be maintained until December 31, 2014.

The President Valdis Zatlers has suspended for two months the laws providing for keeping several benefit amount restrictions until 2014.


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