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Saturday 19.10.2019 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna

Prime Minister on budget approval: this is not the time for infighting

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAlthough the government and social partners have not agreement in regards to the 2020 budget, all sides agreed during a meeting on Friday, 27 September, to submit the budget to the Saeima for review.

On Friday, the National Council for Trilateral Cooperation reviewed the 2020 budget plan.

The board of Latvia’s Free Trade Unions Association (LBAS) admitted on Thursday, 26 September, that the organization does not support the 2020 budget plan, stressing that the government did not listen to it social partners and that the government decided to ignore laws that enforce increase of financing for healthcare and education.

During the meeting, the head of the association Egils Baldzēns added that his organization is not against the 2020 budget – it stands in favour of improvements for the budget.

«Crisis in the government is not our goal. We hope the budget will be approved with slight improvements, with respect to the government’s declaration,» adds the head of LBAS.

Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LDDK) president Vitālijs Gavrilovs joined his colleague, saying that development of the 2020 budget lacked consultations with social partners. Although LDDK is not especially happy with 2020 budget, the organization does support it.

In regards to the opinion of the head of LBAS, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš stresses that the budget provides money for all areas social partners represent, but not in the amount they want. At the same time, Kariņš reminds that not all requests for funding have been satisfied in full.

«I invite social partners to not antagonize the government, because that would dissolve the point of trilateral cooperation. This is not the time for infighting,» said the prime minister.

Baldzēns adds that, according to LBAS, the 2020 budget is not bad, because it contains many good ideas. Nevertheless, the government should involve social partners more actively in its development.

«First listen to our outlined problems and proposals and then decide behind closed doors where to give money and where to take. We do urge taking into account previously made decisions,» says Baldzēns.

Kariņš once again affirmed that social partners and their opinions are heard and their opinions are justified. However, it is necessary to be able to find compromises in politics to satisfy the majority. ‘This is not an ideal budget, it is the budget we have,’ said the prime minister.

He also added that claims about the 2020 budget not including what is dictated by the law in regards to the healthcare and education funding are unjustified. The prime minister explains that once the Saeima approves the budget, relevant laws will be amended.

The prime minister concluded the meeting of the council by saying that the current state of the country did not form as a result of the past half-year – it is a result of the past 30 years. This is why he is committed to start improving the situation one step at a time.

After the meeting of the council, LDDK director general Līga Meņģelsone told journalists that employers support the 2020 budget even though there are positive and negative sides to it. At the same time, she stressed that the 2020 budget is not a budget for development. «Yes, it is balanced, but we would like to see more development components,» adds Meņģelsone.

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