RIGA - Latvia's tax policy must not create distortions of competition, the Union of Greens and Framers co-chairman Armands Krauze, who is the union's top candidate in Vidzeme in the upcoming Saeima elections, said in an interview with LETA.
"We are part of the single market of the European Union, where labor movement is unimpeded," said Krauze, explaining that Latvia's entrepreneurs sometimes also register companies in other EU countries. Therefore "the tax burden should not be higher than in neighboring countries", said Krauze.
He believes that taxes on businesses are currently too high. It is necessary to create more favorable conditions for entrepreneurs, because the main task of tax policy is to promote business, believes Krauze.
In addition, the next government should consider not taxing residents' only home, Krauze said. This is a financially intensive issue that will have an impact on local governments' budgets. "It will require serious assessment, including how it is done in other countries and how it works in practice," he said.
Asked about Greens/Farmers main budget priorities, Krauze said that these included national security, energy security and social security. He believes that Latvia's national defense needs modern technology. "We don't need to buy used armored vehicles that were made in the 1970s. We have to base our defense on modern air and ground defense systems."
Education is also important part of the state budget, said Krauze, stating that he believed that demands of the Latvian Trade Union of Education and Science Employees were justified. Furthermore, the education system must become competitive.
Healthcare must also be one of the budget priorities, according to Krauze. "Many things would have been different during the Covid-19 pandemic if we had a healthcare system with sufficient capacity and no restrictions on people's mobility, and no restrictions on businesses." Krauze believes that the money paid out in downtime benefits should have been invested in modernization of the healthcare system.