bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 22.07.2018 | Name days: Marija, Marika, Marina
LatviaLatvia

Economic diary. Government will help young families

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU2014 may become the year when Latvia launches a state support programme to stimulate housing loan sector. If this plan succeeds, over a thousand young families will be provided with guarantees for down payments at total amount of EUR 2 million.

The Saeima had first started discussing the need to develop mortgage sector stimulating mechanisms one year ago. However, all previous initiatives had been blocked by Finance Ministry and Unity. The solution had always come down to having adequate lenders save money for down payments on their own.

Everything changed after the resignation of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovksis. The initiative to develop a state support programme for this sector was included in the declaration of the government formed by Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma. At the beginning of 2014, it was planned to finance it using the money received from foreigners in exchange for residence permits. However, amendments to the Immigration Law have forced the government to seek new sources of funding.

The coalition’s council had reviewed the new proposal and approved it this week. Economy Minister Vyacheslav Dombrovskis announced the programme will be launched this year. Economy Ministry and Finance Ministry plan to develop the necessary regulations within the next couple of months.

According to estimates of Association of Latvian Commercial Banks, 14% (100,000 Latvian households) plan to improve their living conditions in the near future. But only 3% have the opportunity to perform down payments. According to estimates, a single family can expect to receive state guarantee worth EUR 2,000, which will help cover the down payment (10-20%) of housing loans ranging within EUR 10-20 thousand.

Port dues

This week’s meeting of Latvian Port, Transit and Logistics Council included the topic of having the three largest sea ports of the country pay rent for the use of public property. Prior to this meeting, it was planned to have Riga, Ventspils and Liepaja sea ports perform the first payments in 2015. However, the Law on State Budget of 2014 clearly states: after the approval of amendments to the Law on Ports (this had happened a long time ago) the head of Finance Ministry will be able to increase government spending outlooks every quarter in the amount of payments received from ports. Therefore, the institution already has the required authority and the ministry can therefore request money starting this April.

During the discussion, sides agreed on the following: specialists of Transport Ministry will evaluate conclusions made by different institutions over the course of the next couple of weeks. It will then be decided whether or not to turn on the counter this spring-summer or wait until 2015, when annual accounts of ports will have been prepared for 2014.

The new tax system for ports provides for having payments of 10% of the anchor, Channel, tonnage dues be transferred to municipalities and the state. It is planned that 90% of received amounts will be returned to tax payers in the form of subsidies to maintain the ports’ surrounding areas. 10% are to be spent on state roads.

Expensive pleasure

The Cabinet of Ministers Committee has been hard at work as well lately. It was decided on the last meeting that the share of bio-fuel in vehicle fuel should be no less than 10% starting 2020. This decision caused uproar from representatives of this sector, because it was made without their participation. President of the Biofuels and Bioenergy Association Daumants Znatnais, a written protest will be submitted against this. It is added that the government has not included a single point that would provide even indirect support for bio-fuel manufacturers.

Meanwhile, according to the head of this association, this sector will not survive without state support. This means it will be necessary to procure additional fuel from abroad by 2020. The only plant in Latvia that still specializes in such products is Bio-Venta. But because loans were taken in 2008 to finance the plant’s modernization, there is no way it will be able to survive without external funding. He also said the association’s opinion will be taken into account in the next meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers Committee.

The development of bio-fuel sector was part of the Latvian government’s priorities in 2003-2010. Over the course of this period of time, the government invested a total of LVL 67.2 million in the form of direct subsidies. It was originally planned to have these plants produce 75,000 tons of fuel by 2010. But actual returns have been 58,383 tons and 39,451 ton of which were exported from the country.

How to endure a crisis

Institute of Latvia’s Foreign Policy presented a compilation of articles titled ‘Policy of Economic Stability: reaction of Baltic Countries and Visegrád Group to the European economic crisis’ this week. The presentation featured authors from seven countries participating in the project.

As noted by deputy Director of ILFP and editor of this compilation Karlis Bukovskis, the problems countries faced were of different degree. Therefore, these problems required differed approaches.

Over the course of the economic crisis, some countries employed very strict austerity measures (Baltic States and Hungary). Some countries used varying degrees of austerity measures. In order to compensate the decline in revenue, some countries released state bonds (Lithuania in particular), others were forced to turn to international creditors (Latvia and Hungary).

Ref: 017.109.109.9384


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Liberals ex-leader fails to recover confiscated cash

Eligijus Masiulis, a former Liberal Movement leader on trial in a major political corruption case, has failed to recover cash that was found and seized during searches of his home.

BNN summary of the week: open presidential election in Latvia and no more plastic bags for shoppers

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Future; Change; Fight; Decline; Business; Progress.

SRS: cash register reform still stagnates, but has become much faster than it was last year

The cash registers reform continues stagnating. However, it has become much faster than it was a year ago, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Specialists to search for solutions to topical environmental problems in Ventspils

On Friday, 20 July, a meeting was held between Ventspils Commercial Port representatives and specialists from State Environment Service.

Children with functional disorders to receive services financed by EU funds

Child invalids will have access to social services intended to improve their social skills and mobility. More than EUR 4.2 million has been allocated for this goal from the European Social Fund, as confirmed by Latvia’s Central Financing and Contracting Agency.

Producer price level in industry up 4.3% in Latvia

Compared to June 2017, the average level of producer prices in Latvian industry increased by 4.3 % in June 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market rose by 4.8 % and those of exported products by 3.7 %.

Total tax debts in Latvia in July – 1.212 billion euros

At the beginning of July total tax debts in Latvia, including outstanding debts, halted debts and debts applied with repayment term extensions, accounted for EUR 1.212 billion, which is 0.8% less than a month prior, according to data from the State Revenue Service.

Survey: every third Latvian resident has received illegal loan offers

Nearly every third resident in Latvia or 31% of respondents admit having received offers to use illegal loan services, as concluded in a survey performed by Latvian Alternative Financial Services Association and SKDS.

Libya opposed to EU's idea to establish migrant centres in North Africa

Libya is against the solution of the European Union to set up migrant centres in the North African country as a means to keep migrants from arriving in the bloc and Libya would not be convinced with financial support, its Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has noted.

Arrest warrant on Catalan ex-President cancelled by Spain

The Supreme Court of Spain cancelled a European arrest warrant for former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont, as Germany refused to extradite him to face accusations of rebellion for declaring the independence of Spain's region, Catalonia in 2017.

Latvian government plans to allow handing expired food to charity

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has prepared amendments to the Law on the Supervision of the Handling of Food that provide permission to hand over certain types of food products to charity after the end of their expiry date.

Estonian industrial producer prices up 2.9% since June 2017

Estonian industrial producer price index has risen by 2.9% between June 2017 and the first summer month this year, resulting in an increase of export prices as well, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Putin urges NATO to quit «irresponsibly» developing ties with Ukraine, Georgia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin cautioned NATO against developing deeper relations with Ukraine and Georgia, evaluating such a policy was irresponsible and would have consequences for the military alliance.

Latvian parliament not in a hurry to support president Vejonis for a second term

Political parties represented in the Saeima are not eager to support President Raimonds Vējonis for his remainder for a second term.

Weather in Latvia will remain warm and even hot at times

Weather in Latvia in the nearest couple of days will be dictated by a cyclone. Because of that the sky will be partially covered by clouds; thunderstorms are also expected, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Hungary sued in EU Court for criminalising help to illegal immigrants

The European Union's executive body has stated that a law in Hungary that criminalises support for illegal immigrants is in breach with EU law and Hungary has now been referred to the European Court of Justice for the alleged non-compliance.

Estonians buy alcohol in Latvia; country loses EUR 20 million in six months

Latvian stores located close to the Latvian-Estonian border have sold 1.6 million litres of strong alcoholic drinks in the first half year of 2019. This means Estonia has lost more than EUR 20 million in taxes, according to data from Association of Estonian Alcohol Producers and Importers.

Lithuania’s election watchdog slams ruling LFGU over popular TV series

Political messages can be channeled in various ways and the ruling now Lithuanian party, LFGU has chosen a very delicate way of the communications – through a TV series featuring the beauty and the ambiance of Naisiai, a picturesque settlement in Siauliai district.

Association: around 3,3000 people know of their HIV infection but receive no treatment

HIV remains a serious problem in Latvia – around 3,300 people are aware of their status but receive no treatment and continue spreading the infection. Because of that, it is necessary to act quickly for Latvia to lose its status as HIV kingdom and limit the spread of the infection, says Baltic HIV Association, informing decision-makers and responsible officials in institutions and hospitals about the HIV/AIDS situation.

Driver shortage may force reduction of international road haulage volumes

Latvia’s road haulage companies have started experiencing shortage of drivers. On top of that, if employment conditions for residents of non-EU member states do not change, it may be necessary to reduce the volume of road haulage volumes, says Latvijas auto president Valdis Trēziņš.

Lattelecom’s turnover up 9% in first half-year of 2018

Lattelecom Group’s turnover reached EUR 98.7 million in the first half-year of 2018, growing by 9% in comparison with the same period of 2017, according to unaudited financial results.

1,140 fewer births registered in Latvia in 2017

Since 2016 the number of births in Latvia is declining again. Compared to 2016, a total of 1,140 births fewer were registered in 2017. Also, the provisional number of births registered over the first six months of 2018 (9,664 children) is by 664 children smaller than that registered over the respective period of 2017.

Citadele Bank decides to reform Lithuanian subsidiary as a branch office

Citadele Bank has decided to reform its Lithuanian subsidiary as a branch office, as confirmed in the statement the bank submitted to Nasdaq Riga.

Russian pension age hike discussed amid protest outside Duma

As the Russian paliament votes on the proposal to gradually increase he pension age to 65 for men and 63 for women, some 200 people were seen protesting against the reform in Moscow.

Corruption watchdog chief says bureau has done no illegal actions

After going through Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s past investigative activities, the bureau’s chief – Jēkabs Straume – found it confusing that officers often took no appropriate actions after acquiring evidence or receiving indications regarding necessary steps.