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Levits pleased with parties' compromise on 2020 budget
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    Levits pleased with parties' compromise on 2020 budget

    RIGA, Sept 18 (LETA) - President Egils Levits is pleased that the coalition parties have succeeded in reaching a budget compromise and supports the proposed distribution of additional funds, as Levits said following a meeting with Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) today.

    Levits told reporters that he and the prime minister had discussed the process of work on the budget, the administrative territorial reform and other issues on the government's agenda.

    The president is pleased that the parties have managed to reach a compromise on the 2020 budget. Although next year's budget will be significantly larger than the 2019 budget, the president pointed out that parties and ministries' needs and wants had also increased.

    "I am pleased that a budget compromise has been reached. I think it is a sensible compromise that all coalition parties can live with and accept. Of course, everyone has their own desires and priorities," the president said.

    However, he personally believes that there could have been a greater emphasis on "one or another budget item". "But I think we all need to support this compromise. It has been achieved through a democratic process and it also proves the stability of the government. I support this budget," Levits said.

    When asked whether it is necessary for the government to comply with the law which stipulates that salaries for medical workers have to be raised, Levits replied: "The law states so, but the question is when it has to be done." Levits added that the prime minister could comment further on the issue.

    Karins replied that, although Saeima in the past had approved several proposals without considering them in context of the economic development and budget opportunities, it was his and the government's responsibility to look at the actual needs and what budget funding could be allotted for them.

    "We have agreed that there will be significant budget increases for healthcare. We are already spending over a billion euros on healthcare and an additional EUR 50 million will be allocated in 2020. We have a health minister to make sure that the money is used in the best way, meaning that wages increase for those most in need," the prime minister said.

    As reported, the government on Tuesday approved distribution of EUR 173.8 million for ministries and independent institutions' priorities next year. Of this amount, EUR 91.12 million will be distributed among ministries' priorities, EUR 72.4 million will be allotted to cross-sectoral priorities, and EUR 10.44 million for independent institutions' priorities.

    • Published: 18.09.2019 14:45
    • Gatis Kristovskis, LETA
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