Lietuva in brief - 2010-10-28

  • 2010-10-27

According to preliminary data of Statistics Lithuania, there were 934,200 people receiving a pension of at least one type in Lithuania at the end of 2009. The pension holders accounted for 28.1 percent of the Lithuanian population. Nearly two-thirds of the beneficiaries were women. From 2004 till the end of 2007, the number of pension beneficiaries was decreasing, but it rose in the past two years. During this period, the fastest growth (13 percent) was recorded in the number of disability pension beneficiaries. The number of early retirement pension beneficiaries, due to the situation in the labor market, fell by 8 percent.

Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius showed an interest in a proposal to punish people buying smuggled goods, meanwhile, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas Virginija Baltraitiene believes that this will not solve the problem, “moreover, punishing the consumers will lead to high administrative costs,” she said. The fight against the shadow economy and smuggling is expected to bring in revenues of a billion litas. If the Government fails to receive projected revenues from the shadow economy, it will turn to the budget and cutbacks in mid-2011, said Kubilius.

Finance Minister Ingrida Simonyte says that she would accept the proposal of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to impose real estate and car taxes only as a last resort. “Now in particular, the Government has a political obligation to exhaust all the efforts to increase revenue without raising taxes, and only to consider other measures if failing to do so,” the finance minister said. On their ordinary mission to Lithuania, the IMF’s representatives were informed about Lithuania’s main macroeconomic indicators, the fiscal policy and the situation in the banking sector. It was noted that the fiscal measures taken helped restore confidence of international capital markets and retain stability and competitiveness of the banking system. According to IMF projections, Lithuania’s GDP is expected to grow by 3 percent annually in 2011-2012.