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Wednesday 29.01.2020 | Name days: Valērijs, Aivars
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Consolidation of 60 –70 million lats required not to cut family benefits

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If the state family benefits are maintained at their current level, this year the budget consolidation will be carried out at even greater extent – 60 to 70 million lats, the Finance Minister Andris Vilks points out to Neatkarīgā.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter the social partners’– employers and trade unions – suggestion, the family allowance reform was discussed at the National Tripartite Cooperation Council’s meeting as a separate issue.

In order not to take away or reduce the state family benefits, the Ministry of Welfare (MW) is determined to review the social security budget expenditure.

The MW Social Security Department Director Jana Muižniece reminded at the meeting the government’s decision was to pay this benefit only to families with low-income, and put local governments in charge of benefit payments. However, in the developed five variants the MW offers not only the initially chosen reform type, but others as well – to pay the benefit starting from the second child in the family, or only to large families.

The MW also offers a sixth option, namely, to maintain the current system but look for the necessary 11.2 million lats for the budget consolidation in other social areas. The Minister of Welfare Ilona Jurševska acknowledges this last option was not sudden, because the MW has always emphasized the state family budget should not be revoked.

Otherwise, we will be the only country which does not pay benefits to families, explains Muižniece, adding the benefit is already the lowest in Europe.

Trade unions completely oppose the family benefit cuts. The Latvian Free Trade Union Confederation Deputy Chairman Egīls Baldzēns indicates such system should be maintained where all children in the family receive benefits, because in a country with such serious demographic problems, the state cannot choose which children will receive benefits.

He also mentions several reductions in the families’ income – the state family benefit cuts for the second and subsequent children, the maternity benefit reduction by 20%, the premium revocation for child birth, etc. People have children if there is a strong social support system and if they know the child’s arrival in the family will not worsen the situation, Baldzēns asserts.


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