RIGA - The government’s action plan provides for a number of systemic improvements, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said today while reporting on the first 100 days of his government.
The prime minister said that his government has defined several priorities, which include fixing Latvia’s financial sector, reforming the health and education sectors and carrying out the administrative-territorial reform, among others.
“In this short period of time we have been working as a united team, seeking solutions together. If we stick to the government’s action plan, we will achieve many systemic improvements,” Karins said.
Justice Minister Janis Bordans (New Conservative Party) said that progress has been made in ensuring a safe business environment by obliging businesses to disclose their beneficial owners. At the same time, work will continue on the specialization of courts and enhancing the resocialization system.
Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards (National Alliance) noted that the government’s action plan contains a number of measures aimed at supporting the agricultural sector and that work will continue to apply a reduced VAT rate on more food products. Furthermore, attention will be turned also to ensuring a sustainable development of the Latvian forest industry.
Welfare Minister Ramona Petravica (KPV LV) voiced the resolve to revise the minimum pension rules, as well as to improve support to the people at risk of poverty. A system will be created to provide rehabilitation services, the minister said.
Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) informed that the Transport Ministry will continue work to create a modern and convenient transport system by 2021, with rail transport planned as the basis of this system.
Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development/For) named the administrative-territorial reform as one of his ministry’s top priorities. The minister also pledged to tackle climate-related issues. “Climate change should be perceived not as a restriction but as an opportunity,” Puce said.
Interior Minister Sandis Girgens (KPV LV) called on the government to focus more on strengthening Latvia’s internal security as this sphere is closely connected to national security. The minister stresses the necessity to increase funding for law enforcement infrastructure.
Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) said that it is essential for the government to implement measures with a long-term impact. The minister is determined to improve the quality of education and to increase its accessibility, as well as secure more funding for the education sector.
Finance Minister Janis Reirs (New Unity) informed that drafting Latvia’s 2020 budget would be his ministry’s immediate task, while a revision of the tax system would be a priority in a longer term. Reirs also vowed to clamp down on financial crime.
Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development/For) said her ministry would continue work to ensure the availability, quality and efficiency of healthcare services.
Economics Minister Ralfs Nemiro (KPV LV) informed that instead of redistributing resources, the Economics Ministry will concentrate on promoting profit-generating activities, particularly exports. The minister also intends to turn attention to the availability of housing and solutions for cutting energy prices.
Culture Minister Dace Melbarde (National Alliance) said that the sphere of culture does not require a revolution as Latvia can already take pride in its achievements internationally. At the same time, the minister noted the necessity to increase wages for employees in creative industries.