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Latvija in brief - 2013-02-21

Feb 20, 2013

An absolute majority, or 93 percent, of economically-active Latvian residents assess the condition of Latvian roads negatively, according to a survey carried out by the market, social and media research company TNS Latvia and the LNT television channel, reports Nozare.lv. Fifty-eight percent are very critical in their assessment of Latvian roads, and 35 percent have a rather negative opinion of the condition of Latvian roads. Only 5 percent have a positive opinion of the condition of Latvian roads. One percent have a very high opinion of Latvian roads, 4 percent are quite positive in their assessment. 2 percent have no opinion. Thirty-eight percent point out that the government should assume responsibility for the current state of the roads, 22 percent believe that the Transport Ministry is responsible, 22 percent blame the state-owned road maintenance company Latvijas Valsts celi, 9 percent the road construction companies, 2 percent individual ministers. The survey was conducted from Feb. 5 to 7; altogether, 750 residents aged 18 to 55 were interviewed.

The year 2012 concluded with a 49.5 million lats (70.7 million euros) deficit in the social insurance budget, the Welfare Ministry’s State Secretary Ieva Jaunzeme said on Feb. 13, reports LETA. Social insurance budget revenue amounted to 1.3 billion lats in 2012; expenditures were 1.4 billion lats, of which 1 billion lats were paid in pensions. The state continues to pay pensions and benefits thanks to social insurance savings, which stood at 277.2 million lats in 2012. 45,700 persons made contributions to the social insurance budget last year. The figure is insufficient as, on the average, one pension is made up of contributions by 1.7 persons, said Jaunzeme. She said, however, that the situation could improve in 2014, when pension bonuses will be paid from the state budget, and predicted that social insurance savings could reach 300 million lats next year.

The average monthly pension in Latvia is 190 lats (271.4 euros), according to data from the State Social Insurance Agency, reports LETA. Latvia currently has 488,000 persons who receive a monthly pension. Fifty-three percent of pensioners in Latvia receive a monthly pension of between 190 and 200 lats, while 24 percent of pensioners receive a smaller pension. There are 115,699 pensioners in Latvia who receive a monthly pension of 150 or less. Approximately 26,486 pensioners receive a monthly pension of 100 lats or less, while 4,932 receive a monthly pension of 50 lats or less. Furthermore, 24 percent of pensioners in Latvia receive a monthly pension of 200 lats or more. Approximately 88,762 pensioners receive a monthly pension between 200 and 300 lats or less, while 21,446 receive a monthly pension between 300 and 800 lats. There are also 2,196 pensioners in Latvia who receive a monthly pension of 800 lats and above.

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