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Tuesday 25.09.2018 | Name days: Rauls, Rodrigo
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Proposal to raise minimal wages in Latgale by only EUR 20 gets rejected

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Wednesday, 8 November, Saeima’s Parliamentary Inquiry Committee decided to decline a request submitted by opposition deputies, in which it is proposed to cancel the initiative to raise minimal wages in Latgale or at least make sure it does not exceed EUR 20 annually because of the difficult position businessmen are in.

The Saeima still has to make a decision on this matter.

During the committee’s meeting, deputy Juris Viļums said that no active measures are being undertaken in Latgale to support the region’s development. He said that deputies propose limiting excessive wage increase that is currently planned to make sure it does not increase unemployment and people do not leave the region.

The politician also said that he does not want Latgale to be treated worse than other regions. He also said that deputies do support raising non-taxable minimum.

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s parliamentary secretary Jānis Eglīts said that deputies who signed under the proposal unintentionally want to put residents of Latgale in a more disadvantageous situation. He explained that this proposal will reduce residents’ purchasing power.

Welfare Ministry’s parliamentary secretary Karina Ploka said that, considering the benefits paid to non-taxable minimum for people with dependents, people with low income lose the opportunity to use all of those benefits. With that, there is no point in raising non-taxable minimum, which people with low income will not be able to use.

The proposal was signed by Juris Viļums (LRA), Ivars Brīvers (LRA), Silvija Šimfa (NSL), Arvīds Platpers (NSL), Varis Krūmiņš (LRA), Rihards Melgailis (LRA), Aivars Meija (NSL), Artuss Kaimiņš (KPV LV), Edvards Smiltēns and Mārtiņš Šics (LRA).

Parliamentarians request the government to develop an order by December 2017 that would provide special status for Latgale’s planning region and certain nearby territories. This decision should be made in order to reduce the region’s unemployment level to 10% and perform measures to improve overall employment.

One such measure provides setting non-taxable minimum at least at EUR 430.

Several of the people who signed the proposal are from Latgale. They point to the fact that residents of the region have not had much freedom to voice their opinion in regards to raising minimal wages to EUR 430. Business environment’s representatives say this increase would only increase unemployment risks in the region.

Nearly half of Latgale’s largest production companies worked with negative or minimal profits. Under such conditions, raising minimal wages would also increase labour costs by 13%, politicians say.

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