Coalition partners disagree on importing seasonal workers and cutting VAT on food

  • 2022-11-21
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia's potential coalition partners have differing positions on importing seasonal workers from foreign countries and cutting value added tax (VAT) on basic foods.

Edgars Tavars, one of the leaders of the United List and head of the workgroup drafting the government declaration's section on agriculture and forestry, told LETA that on the whole this section of the government declaration has been drafted without any major problems. 

However, there are two issues on which an agreement has yet to be reached. One of the coalition partners does not support the United List's proposal to import seasonal farm staff in the agricultural sector, Tavars said. 

The United List representative indicated that farmers had raised the issue of labor shortages, insisting that foreign labor force has to be attracted, for instance, to prevent strawberries from rotting on the field. Previously, farmers had tried to attract seasonal workers through Poland, which means that the taxes were also paid in Poland instead of Latvia, Tavars said. 

Also, one party is objecting to the United List's proposal to cut VAT on basic food products to 5 percent. 

Tavars would not reveal which political parties did not support said proposals. Previously, entrepreneurs' calls to import foreign workforce have always been rejected by the National Alliance, and New Unity has always been against reducing VAT on food.