RIGA - Human capital is an essential factor for economic growth, Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens (New Unity) said today at the Saeima debate on the draft state budget for 2024.
He said that next year's state budget supports the government's economic policy objective, as stated in its declaration - to achieve sustainable gross domestic product (GDP) growth by increasing investment, productivity and exports. Investment, and in particular investment in human capital, is essential to achieve all these objectives.
This means reducing vulnerabilities in sectors that have been under-resourced but on which the country's sustainable development depends, including human security, health, education and science, the minister noted.
Only a knowledgeable, skilled and healthy population can contribute to the country's economic growth, increase the competitiveness of businesses, expand export opportunities, produce more sophisticated products and provide services in international markets, said Aseradens.
According to the finance minister a balanced medium-term budget is essential for a stable economic growth. For citizens and businesses, however, predictability and a level of income and profit that allows them to cover their daily needs and invest in development are important, Aseradens stressed.
As reported, today the Saeima is hearing the draft law on 2024 state budget and related bills in the first reading.
The Saeima is scheduled to vote on the final reading of the budget in the first half of December.
As reported, the government supported the 2024 state budget and the budget framework for 2024-2026 at a meeting at the beginning of November.
The general government budget's revenue next year is projected at EUR 17.8 billion and expenditure at EUR 19.1 billion. The general government budget deficit in 2024 is therefore planned at EUR 1.3 billion, or 2.8 percent of gross domestic product.
The budget deficit in 2025 is projected at 2.3 percent of GDP and in 2026 at 0.9 percent of GDP.
Government debt next year is projected at EUR 18.6 billion, or 41 percent of GDP.
The three main budget priorities next year include internal and external security, education, and healthcare.