VILNIUS – Lithuania's government on Wednesday endorsed the 2020 state budget bill, and the general government surplus is estimated at 0.2 percent GDP.
"The next year's budget is really realistic, and balance and promoting effective use of funds. The majority of additional funds will be allocated for reducing poverty," Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka said during the government's sitting.
In his words, the international economic situation is getting worse, and all international organizations are cutting forecasts and warning of further possible cuts in the future, therefore, Lithuania should be cautious as well.
"We have to ensure stability and fiscal discipline. (…) We will continue accumulating reserves for Lithuania to be prepared for any shocks in unforeseen situations," Sapoka said.
Under the bill, the budget's revenue will grow 9 percent, or 955.686 million euros, to 11.545 billion euros. The revenue of the social insurance fund SoDra will go up 9.1 percent, or 407 million euros, to 4.862 million euros. The revenue of the mandatory health insurance fund will grow 11.7 percent, or 241 million euros, to 2.301 billion euros.
Municipal budgets should see their revenue go up 11.9 percent, or 350 million euros, to 3.299 billion euros.
The state budget's expenditure will go up 8 percent, or 940 million euros, to 12.646 billion euros. The SoDra's expenditure would increase 11.7 percent, or 472 million euoros, to 4.515 billion euros. And the mandatory health insurance fund's expenses should rise 7.4 percent, or 145 million euros, to 2.1 billion euros.
Municipal budget should see their expenses grow 11.6 percent, or 339 million euros, to 3.268 billion euros.
Sapoka said the majority of additional expenses next year will go to the area of social security as it would get 761 million euros in additional funds. And this sector's total expenditure will stand at 6.19 billion euros.
327 million and 149 million euros respectively will be allocated to increasing pensions and the child benefit next year, and 56.9 million and 72.9 million euros respectively will be spent on maternity and unemployment benefits.
The state's expenses on healthcare should grow 147 million euros to 2.303 billion euros, followed by expenses on economy (134 million euros to 2.418 billiio euros), education (92 million euros to 1.568 billion euros) and defense (76 million euros to 1.107 billio euros).
Spending on the state's general services will grow 30 million euros to 1.477 billion euros, and the amount spent on the public order and the society's protection will stand at 908 million euros, up by 39 million euros.
The state's accumulated reserves should stand at 1.69 billion euros in late 2020, making 3.3 percent of the GDP, compared to 2.2 percent GDP at the end of this year.
The budget bill should be put before the Seimas no later than by Oct 17, and the document is usually returned to the government for further improvements after its initial consideration in the parliament. The budget is finally endorsed in December.