Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 29.01.2020 | Name days: Valērijs, Aivars

2020 starts with slew of changes in Lithuanian life

(No Ratings Yet)

Vilnius, Lithuania, taxation, chid benefits, economy

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

The New Year in Lithuania has ushered in many key changes in nearly every field of life. The keenest observers counted at least three dozen novelties in taxation, education, health and salary and pension systems. BNN lists below just the most vivid changes.

Minimum wage

The minimum monthly wage from January 1 will steep by 52 euros from 555 to 607 euros before the deduction of taxes, bringing the take-home pay from 396 to 437 euros. Around 156,000 people in Lithuania make the minimum wage or less, the statistics says.

Pensions and salaries

With pension indexation being pegged in 2020 to growth of wages, pensions this year will grow more than 8 per cent as of January 1. The average monthly old-age pension will reach 377 euros in the new year, and it will amount to 399 euros for seniors with mandatory working experience. The basic pay rate for civil servants will edge up from 173 to 176 euros, meaning that around 300,000 state officials and civil servants will see their pay rise.

Child benefits

Child benefit payments in 2020 will go up from 50 to 60 euros, and from 70 to 100 euros families raising three of more children, also for low-income families and those raising disabled children.

Income tax

Lithuanians making over 110,000 euros a year will see their income tax rate go up from 27 to 32 per cent. There are over 2,000 top-earners in Lithuania who will be affected by the change, according to statisticians.

Real estate tax

Owners of real estate valued more than 150,000 euros will have to pay real estate tax which until now was applied to properties of over 220,000 euros. Seventy-five percent of the properties are believed to be in capital city Vilnius. The Lithuanian government expects to add to the state coffers around 2.5 million euros in additional tax revenue.

Fuel excise duties

As a result of the growing fuel excise duties, the price of petrol will go up by around 0.04 euro per litre. The diesel fuel excise for farmers will increase from 56 to 60 euros per 1,000 litres, making one litre of diesel roughly 0.005 euro more expensive.

Daily allowances

Starting January 1, 2020 business trips will be affected. Calculating the non-taxable daily allowance for foreign business trips, fixed salary of an employee will be compared with the minimum monthly salary or the minimum hourly salary multiplied by a coefficient. The coefficient increases from 1.3 to 1.65 from the year. The amendment eliminates the possibility of increasing daily allowance rate of foreign business trips for director of the company up to 100 per cent.

Conscription age

Starting January 1, 2020, the age range at which men are called up for mandatory military service is lowered to 18-23 years, from 19–26 years currently. The amendments of Law on Conscription also bars volunteer soldiers from holding seats in the parliament and municipal councils.


Under new rules in force from February 1, the value of shares vested under stock options not earlier than three years after date of grant will be tax exempt. The main purpose of the changes is to create an additional non-taxable benefit for employees receiving stock options.

Alcohol price goes up

Due to the higher excise tax, the average price of the bottle of alcoholic beverage will go up roughly 0,45 euro from March 1.

More expensive electricity, cheaper gas

The price of electricity will increase 15 per cent for Lithuanian households from the New Year. Meanwhile, gas will be cheaper around 17-22 per cent in 2020.

Changes in education system

At least seven key changes will affect Lithuania’s education system this year. Upon agreement with  major Education trade unions, teachers’ base salary will increase 10 per cent, year-on-year, from September 1, 2020. Practically, the average teacher’s pay is expected to go up around 100 euros. Meanwhile, pre-school educators can expect up to 300-euro higher salaries.

Additional class of physical education

Starting September 1, Lithuania’s seven graders will see an additional class of physical education added to their curriculums. First graders and sixth graders have been more sweating in additional physical education classes from last September.

Admissions to vocational schools

Students to Lithuania’s vocational schools will be admitted not only during summer, but in winter too – the first stage of admissions will be organised in early February. This change is thought to help high school drop-outs to choose the path of vocational training.

More state-supported slots in high schools

Lithuania has allotted this year additional 4 million euros to increase the accessibility of state-supported slots for students in the country. Implementing the university optimisation plan, Siauliai University will be merged with Vilnius University in 2020.

New compensation system for patients

From now on, patients who were mistreated in Lithuanian medical facilities, will be able to sue them three years after the damage was done. Thus, the period of damage claim has been extended.  Pecuniary compensations will be paid from the medical facility’s account. Until now, insurance funds paid them.

More transparency in pharmaceutical industry

Starting January 1, 2020, pharmacy companies and their representatives are obliged to inform the State Medicine Control Service (VVKT) what support in the form of gift coupons, free medical events abroad and et cetera they have provided to medics. This kind of information will be accessible to all on the VVKT website.

Higher requirements for stroke diagnostics

New orders by the Health minister, Aurelijus Veryga, obligate ambulances to bring patients with suspected stroke within one hour since the placement of phone call to the emergency room.  Meanwhile, tomography must be performed withing 30-60 minutes since the arrival of the patient.

Changes to Lithuania‘s Eurovision 2020

Lithuania’s national broadcaster LRT which organises Eurovision Song contests in the country, has announced that the 2020 national selection will last for six weeks – from early January until mid-February, nearly two months than until now. Besides, one artist will be allowed to compete with one song only, the jury will be present, however, they will watch the performances in a separate studio, and will not provide comments after each of the performances; televoting results will not be shown during the show as it was the case until now. They will only be shown at the end of the show.

Leave a reply

Levits: search for a new location for VDD would delay project and create losses

If the government decides to look for a new location for the State Security Service’s new headquarters, it could delay construction by several years and create considerable financial losses, Latvian President Egils Levits told journalists on Wednesday, 29 January.

Estonian children start school with 49.5% missing some vaccines, study finds

In Estonia, 49.5% of first-graders are not fully vaccinated in the framework of a state vaccination programme, a study, cited by Estonian public broadcaster ERR, has found.

Four persons detained in criminal case on the laundering of 50 million euros

Four persons have been detained in the criminal process on the laundering of no less than EUR 50 million, as part of which searches were performed at ABLV Bank on Tuesday, 28 January, according to information from LETA.

SEB operating revenue in Estonia was EUR 173.5 million in 2019

The operating revenue of the Estonian branch of the Swedish SEB bank was 173.4 million euros in 2019, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

Retail trade turnover in Latvia increases 2.3%

Compared to 2018, total retail trade turnover rose by 2.3 % in 2019. Turnover of retail trade in food products increased by 1.2 %, turnover of retail trade in non-food products, except for retail sale of automotive fuel, rose by 4.0%, whereas turnover of retail sale of automotive fuel – by 0.4 %.

Latvian State Police warn about encryption ransomware virus attacks

Latvian State Police periodically receive complaints from private and legal persons regarding different encryption ransomware virus attacks. Viruses of this kind encrypt files and hard disks, denying owners the use of their computers and information stored therein, police report.

Lithuania operations announced by US military firm NBC Security

An announcement of entering the Lithuanian market has been made by the American military and defence company NBC Security, which aims to open a manufacturing facility in the Baltic country.

Kariņš: coalition’s partner wants to combine all three special services in Latvia, but I won’t allow it

One of the ruling coalition’s partners wants to combine all three of Latvia’s special services, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to TV3 programme 900 seconds, on Wednesday, 29 January, adding he would be against such a proposal.

Estonian parliament to vote on divisive pension reform

In the Estonian parliament votes on pension reform are planned as the opposition has pledged to do its utmost to keep it from being passed amid concerns what effects the chance of withdrawing second pillar payments ne masse could have.

Six persons reportedly involved in case for laundering of 50 million euros

According to LETA, six people are involved in the criminal process regarding the laundering of illegally obtained funds of nearly EUR 50 million. As part of this criminal process, Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau performed a search at ABLV Bank on Tuesday, 28 January.

International evacuations from China held as coronavirus infections exceed SARS

The European Union and other countries are organising the evacuation of their citizens from China, where the infection cases of the new coronavirus have exceeded the SARS outbreak.

One step closer towards changing prosecutor general replacement order

On Tuesday, 28 January, Latvian Saeima’s Defence, Internal affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee conceptually supported planned law amendments that provide for changing the order under which the country’s prosecutor general is replaced.

Trump offers new Middle East peace plan

US President Donald Trump has offered a new peace plan for the turbulent Middle East region. It envisages the recognition by the US of Israeli occupied territories and a map of territories for the establishment of a state of Palestine.

Government: climate and energy plan for 2030 is a step towards climate neutrality

The National Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 (NEKP) supported by Latvian Cabinet of Ministers is an intermediate stage on the path towards accomplishment of climate neutrality in 2050, ministers admitted during a meeting on Tuesday, 28 January.

Latvian Economy Minister does not have plans to make taxes «green»

Currently there is no specific plan to use taxes to improve state goals in relation to climate neutrality in Latvia, said Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro at a press-conference after a government meeting on Tuesday, 28 January.

KNAB’s search at ABLV Bank related to laundering of 50 million euros

The search performed at ABLV Bank by Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau on Tuesday, 28 January, is related to the laundering of at least EUR 50 million between 2015 and 2018, as reported by the office of the prosecutor.

Aviation giant Airbus concedes to corruption investigators in France, UK and US

World’s largest airplane maker, European multinational has agreed to potentially very expensive settlements with bribery investigators in France, the UK and the US.

Latvian government sets term for Riga and Ventspils port board members – five years

On Tuesday, 28 January, Latvian government adopted amendments to the by-laws of Riga and Ventspils port management boards, setting the term at five years for port board members.

Delna: Latvia is not doing well with corruption prevention

For years Latvia’s position has stagnated in the Global Anti-Corruption Coalition Transparency International composed Corruption Perception Index because our country is not doing well with corruption prevention, said Society for Openness Delna director Liene Gātere in an interview to Latvijas Radio on Tuesday, 28 January.

In Estonian choice of child names, Western European names replace Russian ones

In Estonia, the lists of most popular child names in 2019 have shown changes in trends compared to the year 1989 as the popularity of Russian language names has lost ground to names associated with German and English-inspired ones.

Corruption watchdog performs search at liquidated ABLV Bank

On Tuesday, 28 January, Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau performed investigative activities at the liquidated ABLV Bank.

Ķirsis: the current Riga City Council should not be the ones to decide on 2020 budget

Considering to the shadow of corruption looming over the current composition of Riga City Council and their failures, they should not be the ones to approve the municipality’s budget for 2020, said opposition deputy Vilnis Ķirsis in an interview to TV3 programme 900 seconds.

Nausėda in Auschwitz: «We must identify the hate-inciting forces»

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious death camp, where pointed to the need to « identify the hate-inciting forces», who can lead to devastating consequences.

Olainfarm: Olmafarm misleads society about alleged shareholder meeting

By reporting information about the shareholder meeting that allegedly took place Friday, 24 January, medicines manufacturer Olainfarm’s largest shareholder LLC Olmafarm council and board mislead society and ignore the ruling of the court, Olainfarm representatives say.

U.S. military plane crashes in Afghanistan

In eastern Afghanistan, a U.S. military plane has crashed. U.S. forces in the country and NATO alliance have not provided details on possible casualties and the cause of the crash.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!