Health Ministry proposes uniform healthcare tax also for microenterprises, patent fee payers and authors' remuneration

  • 2020-01-16
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Health Ministry has worked out a draft regulation to apply a uniform 1 percent healthcare tax rate not only to those included in the general tax regime but also to employees of microenterprises, payers of patent fees and taxpayers receiving authors' remuneration.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Anna Strapcane told LETA that the new tax regulation would allow for providing a uniform range of government-funded healthcare services to all residents of Latvia. The ministry's representative indicated that the objective is to introduce a solidarity-based involvement of all people and prevent discrimination on the basis on the taxpayers' status. 

According to the Health Ministry's proposal, a number of social groups like children, pensioners, politically repressed persons, jobless people, the disabled and others would continue to receive healthcare services free-of-charge. People providing care to disabled adults will not be charged money for healthcare services either, Strapcane said. 

Under the present system, employed persons who pay their social taxes are contributing more to the healthcare budget because 1 percent of their social contributions is spent on financing healthcare. At the same time, there are many employees who are paying the social tax but not the healthcare contribution. These include employees receiving authors' remuneration, payers of patent fees, employees of microenterprises, seasonal workers, self-employed people and others. 

If the proposed regulation comes into effect on January 1, 2021, healthcare funding is expected to increase by around EUR 17.5 million.

Today, the Health Ministry's proposal was sent for public debating.

While amending the Health Care Financing Law last May, the government approved Health Minister Ilze Vinkele's (For Development/For) proposal to scrap the two-basket healthcare system and to replace it with a single basket of government-funded healthcare services. At the same time, the minister was tasked with developing a sustainable healthcare system that could be introduced along with new tax reforms in 2021.