Lithuania's 2020 budget package to be tabled in parliament

  • 2019-10-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The Lithuanian state's 2020 budget bill as well as draft budgets for the state social insurance fund Sodra and the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund are to be tabled in the Seimas for debate on Tuesday.  

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis describes the state's key revenue and expenditure plan as "balanced", with most of its spending going toward social needs, and Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka says next year's budget will encourage a more efficient use of funds.  

The bill provides for raising the excise duties on strong alcohol, tobacco and fuel, and scrapping the excise exemption for gas oils used for heating purposes. It also calls for expanding the real estate tax base and introducing a levy on polluting cars. 

The package also includes proposals for taxing credit institutions' assets and retail chains as well as reducing the rate of increase in the non-taxable personal income threshold.  

The bill earmarks 327 million euros for raising pensions, with the average old-age pension planned to reach 374 euros, and another 149 million euros for increasing the monthly benefit that each child in Lithuania is eligible for. 

The minimum monthly wage is expected to rise by 52 euros to 607 euros before taxes and by 41 euros to 437 euros after taxes. 

The central government's budget revenue is projected to grow by 9 percent next year compared with this year to 11.545 billion euros, and expenditure is planned to increase by 8 percent to 12.646 billion euros.

Sodra's draft budget for 2020 targets a revenue surplus of 347.3 million euros, down by 11.5 percent compared with this year's estimate, with revenue projected at 4.862 billion euros and expenditure at 4.515 billion euros, up by 6 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.  

The Compulsory Health Insurance Fund's revenue should grow by 11.7 percent to 2.301 billion euros and expenditure should go up by 7.4 percent to 2.1 billion euros. 

The state budget is planned with a general government surplus of 0.2 percent of GDP. The state's accumulated reserves are expected to reach 1.69 billion euros in late 2020, accounting for 3.3 percent of the GDP, up from the projected 2.2 percent of GDP in late 2019. 

The parliament usually sends the budget bill back to the government for improvement after the first reading and holds a final vote in December.