RIGA - The Cabinet of Ministers at an extraordinary meeting today approved Latvia’s budget framework for 2019, projecting this year’s budget revenues at EUR 9.2 billion and expenditures at EUR 9.4 billion, Finance Minister Janis Reirs (New Unity) told journalists after the government meeting.
By updating spending plans in the government basic and special budget, as well as statistics on recipients of state benefits, the government also found solutions for financing this year’s negative fiscal space, the size of which has been estimated at minus EUR 44.5 million.
The budget includes decisions taken by Latvia’s previous government, as well as new priorities which will be financed with ministries’ funds. Allocations have also been approved for some high-priority activities that cannot be put of until 2020, such as EUR 7.2 million to an anti-money laundering plan, EUR 2.6 million for the implementation of the Diaspora Law and EUR 168,077 for the publication of KGB archives.
Several ministries have revised their budget priorities and come up with cost saving measures intended to increase the fiscal space. The proposals include measures that would increase revenue and reduce expenditure. The saved money would be spent on the ministries’ prioritized activities. The total value of the additional funding for the prioritized activities is EUR 28.5 million.
The Foreign Ministry, for instance, will be able to spend EUR 1.3 million on its prioritized activities, which include strengthening the diplomatic and consular service in order to defend Latvia’s security and economic interests, ensuring the work of the Baltic Center for Media Excellence and other priorities.
An allocation of EUR 938,151 million has been approved for the Education and Science Ministry’s priorities, and EUR 207,723 will be provided to the Agriculture Ministry for the protection of fish stocks.
The Welfare Ministry’s budget priorities will be financed with EUR 8.6 million.
EUR 500,000 have been approved for the municipal reform, extra EUR 40,000 have been earmarked for the Big Cleanup campaign and EUR 3 million for the Health Ministry’s plans.