VILNIUS – Investors are more concerned about the country’s security, and not its tax system, Lithuanian Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste said after the government on Wednesday approved a proposal to introduce a temporary solidarity contribution for banks, which, according to opponents, would harm the country’s investment environment.
“When we are having discussions with investors, in particular those investing in government securities, their first questions about the investment environment in Lithuania concern in particular the security of our region, energy security and Lithuania’s resilience to existing challenges, and certainly not the tax system,” she said during a news conference on Wednesday.
“Therefore, we think that the increasing of financing of national defense, defense readiness, readiness to host allies will strengthen the investment environment in Lithuania, and not the other way around,” the minister added.
Gediminas Simkus, chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, also said that, in his view, the solidarity levy would not affect the country’s investment environment.
Earlier on Wednesday, the government approved a proposal to introduce a temporary solidarity contribution for banks.
Money raised from this new levy will be used to finance military mobility and dual-use – civilian and military – transport infrastructure projects, as well as military infrastructure projects. The latter need has increased due to Russia's war in Ukraine.
The Lithuanian parliament will be asked to consider the bill under a fast-track procedure.
The levy is expected to raise around 410 million euros, including 130 million euros in 2023, 230 million euros in 2024 and 50 million euros in 2025.