bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 21.05.2019 | Name days: Ingmārs, Ernestīne, Akvelīna
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuania makes another attempt to stem emigration, ease youth‘s employment

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

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

Linas Jegelevius for the BNN

Amid exodus of youth to more developed Western European countries able to provide a better livelihood, the Lithuanian government scrambles to find ways to keep the population, and especially so its young people, in the homeland.

Considering adverse effects on the national economy, social welfare system, as well as the country’s national and social development caused by a complicated demographic situation, the Lithuanian Parliament this week has endorsed the Strategy for the Demographic, Migration, and Integration Policy for 2018–2030.

The strategy spans 17 targets and consists of 116 provisions. It ought to be adopted by 1 December, 2018.

It is one of many strategies aiming to stem emigration and boost youth employment in the country.

To remind, in early 2018, the Lithuanian MPs passed legislation enabling young families to acquire affordable housing in the Lithuanian provinces and the draft document of this week sets out a series of measures to integrate successfully adolescents into the job market.

For example, it envisions employment incentives, such as subsidised employment, support for acquisition of professional skills, public works and job rotation programmes.

Importantly, young workers, who apply for their first job, would be exempted from social security payments, which now account for nearly third of a wage in Lithuania, according the draft.

In the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament), 77 MPs voted for it, 24 abstained and 3 were against.

The Chancellery of Lithuanian government believes the measures, the social security tax exemption in particular, would encourage local employers to hire job market novices, often without a proper experience and knowledge.

«The chief purpose of the strategy is to ensure positive changes in the population numbers and appropriate proportions in age of the employed,» says a statement issued by the Chancellery.

If successful, the measure is thought to motivate young people to stay in the country, tight wedding knots and raise families and plan their future in Lithuania.

«The statistics purport that young people leave for abroad after graduating the school or the universities due to the inability to successfully study and work at the same time. In order to reduce youth-related emigration, it is urgent to make sure that transition from the school to the labour market is smooth and well thought-out. It can be done through active, youth-tailored labour market policies,» the statement reads further.

Specifically, the strategy envisions changes of secondary school curricula, with the emphasis to be placed on development of schoolchildren‘s practical skills.

The document especially targets young Lithuanian expats and aims to bring them back to Lithuania.

The strategy also strives to improve the economic welfare, social security, and psychological/emotional well-being of the Lithuanian population; strengthen their bond with the country and living environment; and pursue an effective diaspora policy.

It also addresses demographic challenges, seeks to increase the low fertility, reducing emigration, promote return migration, and improve the quality of life of the senior population.

According to the resolution, from 1992, when the population in Lithuania was at the peak of 3.706 million people, the number of people dropped by 23 per cent to 2.848 million on 1 January 2017. In 25 years’ time, Lithuania lost 859,000 inhabitants or the current population of Vilnius and Kaunas combined. Should the current trend remain unchanged, the population in Lithuania will only be 2.4 million in 2030, according to Eurostat, which represents another 15 per cent decline compared to 2017.

One more problem to be addressed is the unfavourable change in the age structure of the population, which means less children and more senior people. The strategy states that at the beginning of 2017, Lithuania had 550,200 people in the age group of 65 and above. The share of this age group in the total number of permanent residents grew from 15.8 per cent in 2005 to 19.3 per cent in early 2017.

There were 130 seniors for 100 children in early 2017 (93 for 100 children in 2005). Based on the forecasts of Eurostat, it can be estimated that in 2030 there will be 45.865 people aged 65 and above for 100 people in the age group of 15–64.

However, critics say the new strategy will not work as it is too clumsy and bureaucratic. Lithuania has passed similar measures in the past and none of them appeared to be effective, they point out.

Among critics is economist and the presidential hopeful Aušra Maldeikienė, who has called the strategy «a dead document».

«It is doomed to fail for a single reason: it targets not humans, but the dead amorphic and extremely complicated structure known as economics,» she said.

«The whole document embeds what a good economics is all about, but it says nothing about real people,» she went on blasting the draft before adding: «It was apparently penciled by a bunch of bureaucrats, who were writing it turning ear to the whims of the politicians. Therefore, we see so many politically-catchy terms in the documents, like «healthy nourishment at schools», «family support» and all the other popular modern clichés».

Other critics of the draft strategy point out that, with its enactment, social security service, known as SODRA in Lithuania, will lose millions in social security taxes. Notably, the youth exempted from them could expect only smaller pensions in future.

As for the housing programme aiming to help young families with affordable housing, some 840 young families applied for grants to buy or build their first homes in Lithuanian regions in three days after the scheme was launched on September 1, the Social Security and Labor Ministry said.

Some 111 applications were filed in the district of Kaunas, 73 in the district of Klaipėda, 67 in the district of Vilnius and 47 in the district of Panevėžys. The remaining 542 applications were field in other municipalities.

The government has earmarked 2 million euros for the scheme for this year and 4 million euros for 2019, 2020 and 2021 each. The amount of funding may be adjusted based on the actual need for housing in regions and on the state’s financial capabilities.

However, it has its shortcomings too. Some say programme leaves room to abuse it and the mechanism as to how the state can claim back the support has not been worked out properly.


Leave a reply

Huawei: Users after Android ban to keep getting security updates

Chinese electronics and telecommunications heavyweight Huawei has given its first response to the suspension of its Android operating system by promising that its smartphone and tablet users would continue to receive security updates.

Administration of a school in Jurmala suspected of defrauding EUR 100 000

Latvian State Police has detained administration of some school in Jurmala over suspicions of fictive employment. Defrauded amount may reach approximately EUR 100 000, as confirmed by State Police.

Raising minimal income level in Latvia would require EUR 28 million

Latvia’s Welfare Ministry has developed a Plan to improve minimal income support system in 2020-2021. In it, the ministry details that the plan’s implementation requires approximately EUR 28 million, as informed by the ministry’s social inclusivity department’s director Elīna Celmiņa.

Estonia investigates electricity blackout in Russian border city

In Estonia, an investigation has been opened into a power blackout that took place in the north-eastern border city of Narva and other places in the region.

Latvia’s Saeima to pick a new state president after EP elections

Saeima’s Praesidium and Faction Council decided on 20 May to keep the State President’s Election Day unchanged – it will happen 29 May.

Study: packaging convenience still trumps environment friendliness

For Latvian residents convenience of packages remains the most important factor. However, environment friendliness is gradually becoming more and more important for people, according to results of a study by Immer Group.

Harmony reportedly used RTDB to hire foreign political communication specialists

Latvian investigators have acquired documents that reveal how prior to 13th Saeima elections Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTDB), which receives funding from Riga’s budget, had performed at least ten money transfers to several political communication experts from Germany, Sweden and Spain, as reported by public broadcaster TV3 programme Nekā personīga.

Ukraine’s Zelensky starts presidency with dissolution of parliament

Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelensky has been sworn in Kyiv on Monday and in his inaugural speech has announced the dissolution of the Ukrainian parliament.

Austria heading to snap election after right-wing coalition collapses

Austrian political leaders are favouring calling a snap election after the government coalition in Vienna collapsed over alleged influence peddling by Vice-Chancellor.

Egypt bomb attack hits tourist bus

17 tourists in Egypt have been wounded in a bomb explosion near the landmark Giza pyramids.

Latvian Railways reportedly wastes money with self-promotion in sports; UGF might be involved

Last year and at the beginning of this year, Latvian Railways spent at least two million euros on self-promotion. A considerable portion of this money was provided to sports organizations, of which multiple have ties with the Union of Greens and Farmers, as reported by public broadcaster Latvian Television programme De Facto.

In spite of heavy rains, air temperature in Latvia will reach +29° C this week

The sky will be cloudy at the beginning of this week in Latvia. Nevertheless, it will clear from time to time. As the sky clears, daytime air temperature will reach +24° C… +29° C, as reported by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania: PM clears no-confidence vote, top Court slaps LFGU, councillor fined for slander

Last week, Lithuania suffered upset in 2019 Eurovision Song Contest; PM Saulius Skvernelis survived a vote of no-confidence by the ruling LFGU; the Constitutional Court ruled that the Seimas breached law in dealing with public broadcaster LRT.

BNN summary of the week: shadow over Latvia's economy; Kalnmeiers receives bashing

The week passed in Latvia under certain unpleasant news. A study concluded that in spite of Union of Green and Farmers minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola’s praised tax reform the grey economy proportion in Latvia has increased.

Regional Ventas Balss newspaper’s editor punished for reporting false news

On 17 May, Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court found Ventas Balss newspaper’s editor Gundega Mertena guilty of reporting false news in the article «Material 'Confession of Lembergs’ troll' is a 100% made-up story», which was published on pietiek.com portal on23 September 2018.

Court enforces 1 000 euros from Ušakovs for Riga City Council deputy

Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court has declined suspended Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs plea against Riga City Council deputy Vilnis Ķirsis over supposedly offensive statements the latter made against the plaintiff.

Latvian minister proposes re-assessing prosecutor general’s professionalism

Latvia’s Justice Ministry has noticed signs that suggest Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers is not fit to remain in his post, as there are suspicions regarding his reputation, Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns told journalists on 17 May.

Estonia’s Nordica ended 2018 with EUR 2 million in losses

Estonia’s national air carrier registered considerable losses in 2018, reaching EUR 2,3 million in unconsolidated losses.

U.S.-pardoned whistle-blower Manning sent back to prison

A United States grand jury has ordered back to confinement Chealsea Manning, the former American military intelligence analyst, who spent seven years in prison in a Wikileaks-related case before being released by the decision of former U.S.

Privatization Agency: Latvian Railways chairman is baselessly speculating about privatization

«A lot of speculations and incorrect statements containing the word ‘privatization’ are coming from Latvian Railways (LDz) board chairman Edvīns Bērziņš. He is trying to divert attention in his corporate conflict away from the company board’s relations with shareholders,» BNN was told by Privatization Agency (PA) board chairman Vladimirs Loginovs.

International police effort dismantles GozNym gang of cyber criminals

An international criminal network that used GozNym malware in an attempt to steal an estimated USD 100 million from more than 41 000 victims, mostly businesses and their financial institutions, has been dismantled in a joint police operation.

Prediction: Latvia’s new concert hall will recover investments in 15 years

In the first 15 years after construction of Latvia’s new National Acoustic Concert Hall it will earn Latvia’s national economy a total of EUR 107.6 million, fully compensating investments and creating additional profits of EUR 17.6 million.

Poland fights child abuse with prison sentences up to 30 years

Polish legislators have extended prison terms for convicted paedophiles to a maximum 30 years. The Catholic country’s child abuse scandals have been underscored by a new documentary on such crimes by Polish priests.

Money intended for child protection used instead to pay bonuses to officials in Latvia

Welfare Ministry’s allocated state budget funding of EUR 619 000 was used, among other things, to pay bonuses to officials for obvious everyday tasks even though initially it was implied that employees of the ministry and State Child Protection Inspectorate (SCPI) would perform some specific tasks to prevent child and family abuse.

Meteorologists promise air temperature will soon reach +26° C in Latvia

On Friday, 17 May, there will be plenty of sun and clouds. Western regions may experience some rainfall. Wind will draw in from the east, reaching 13 m/sec in Kurzeme, as reported by Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.