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Several hundred people demanded lower VAT on heating at the government building

  • 2013-02-12

RIGA - Several hundred people have gathered at the government building in a rally demanding that value added tax on heating be reduced.

According to the police's estimates, there were 500 to 600 people participating in the protest at noon.

The crowd is making a lot of noise, many people are holding posters saying: "Children, We Will Not Be Eating Today, Today We're Paying For Heating!," "Freeze, Old Lady! Sincerely Yours, The Government," "No VAT On Heating!," and others.

The rally is organized by union "LABA", which previously said that the Cabinet today would consider reducing VAT on heating from 15 percent to 12 percent. Finance Ministry's spokesman Aleksis Jarockis said, however, that the ministry had not proposed such amendments.

The union emphasizes that VAT on heating was 5 percent until 2009, but when the crisis began, the government raised the VAT rate to 12 percent, and now many residents are unable to pay their heating bills.

The union believes that the government can help the nation by reducing the VAT on heating to 5 percent.