Lithuanian govt endorses economic stimulus plan, calls against job cuts

  • 2020-03-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Lithuanian government on Monday endorsed a package of economic measures, worth 5 billion euros, to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus-sparked crisis for businesses and workers.

Meanwhile, the central Bank of Lithuania announced its estimate that the country's economy is likely to shrink at least 1.2 percent this year due to the virus.

Following the plan's approval, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis called on businesses not to sack people but make use of compensations measures.

The plan includes economic stimulus measures worth 1 billion euros, with 500 million euros planned for healthcare, the preservation of jobs and ensuring business liquidity.

The Bank of Lithuania's measures will be valued at another 2.5 billion euros.

The prime minister says every preserved job is important for the government in the wake of the crisis.

"I am inviting everyone not to take the easiest way and reduce the number of workers, but to use those compensation measures we adopted today and preserve jobs," Skvernelis told journalists after the Cabinet's sitting.

The prime minister also said staff of budgetary institutions will have to receive bonuses foe working under extreme conditions.

"Workers in the budgetary sector, who work under quarantine conditions, they need, can and should receive additional bonuses for those conditions they have to work in. Funds for that are available, and any lack cannot be justified. Every institution has the right to set adequate bonuses," the prime minister said.

Under the plan, the state will provide assistance to businesses to preserve jobs, will postpone tax payments and also plans to up the state's borrowing limit to 5 billion euros.

Under the government's order, Lithuania was place under quarantine on Monday.