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Ceturtdiena 17.01.2019 | Name days: Tenis, Dravis
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Minister says all tax regimes should ensure payment of health insurance contributions

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUHealthcare financing system requires that all active tax regimes automatically ensure healthcare insurance contributions, said Latvian Healthcare Minister Anda Čakša in an interview to Diena.

The minister notes that micro-enterprise tax payers pay a specific tax amount, but it does not include the healthcare contribution. One solution could be increasing the tax or finding a way to allow taxpayers pay for healthcare in a different way. There should be a discussion about this in the Saeima to ensure direct healthcare insurance contributions equally for all by 2020, said the politician.

When asked if situations when people working in micro-enterprises have paid voluntary contributions could have paid double tax, Čakša said that no one would lose: «Those who have paid contributions voluntarily will be able to use services in full. This means there can be no losers. I would underline that the contribution should be paid because it would ensure greater security for them and help avoid situations when people are left with no services. The second is the matter of solidarity, because participants of the full tax regime pay their tax contribution automatically.»

«If we decided to cancel this law today, it would become a much bigger problem than if we were to transition to an automatic regime in the future. It would mean reduced financing for healthcare,» says the politician.

When asked to comment on the chances of voluntary contributions being appealed in the Constitutional Court, the minister said it could be done. «When we were working on the legislative draft, we knew there had been a similar precedent in Lithuania, and the constitutional court there declared that the regulations were justified. We have also looked at Estonia’s system. Yes, micro enterprises pay a certain tax, but it does not include healthcare contribution, which is very clearly defined in the big tax regime. This is why a new law was approved. It provides this group with a voluntary contribution that allows employees of micro-enterprises participate in this system by paying this contribution.»

«The second thing is that the range of services has been made this big to ensure no one is left out the healthcare system. Family physicians cover 70% of residents’ basic needs with their knowledge and health checks. But I would propose searching for ways to make this contribution compulsory and all services accessible,» Čakša continues.

«The ministry’s initial legislative draft provided for accessibility of the entire range of services to everyone. Considering I also work in Saeima’s Social and Employment Matters Committee, I have come up with a proposal to commence a discussion and about this regulation. Of course, the new government could have more progress with this matter. But we have to keep in mind that the law has already come to force. We cannot change anything at the moment, we can only discuss how things could turn out in 2020,» adds the minister.


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