VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday declined to comment on the government's proposed tax reform package, saying that it has not been unveiled yet and is just "chatter" for now.
"I don't want to comment on details, fragments and rumors; it's not my prerogative," Nauseda told reporters.
"When the complex of tax reform measures is presented, then I will certainly assess it," he said. "We will put forward our proposals and if we see that something is wrong, we will certainly express our opinion."
"What has been presented now here is not tax reform; it's chatter about tax reform," he added.
Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste said earlier on Thursday that the government will unveil its proposed tax reform package next week "after the final adjustments have been made to reflect comments from the coalition partners".
The minister said that not all the information published in the media is accurate, adding that the reform needs to be looked at as a whole, rather than as individual taxes.
Skaiste did not comment on BNS' report that the Finance Ministry proposes to introduce a new personal income tax rate, but said that the MPs who leaked the information should take responsibility.
The information about the proposed tax changes was confirmed to BNS late on Wednesday by several members of the Freedom Party's political group in the Seimas, after the minister had presented the proposal to the group.
According to the MPs, the reform package includes a new 25 percent tax rate for employment-related income.
The rate would apply to a person's annual income of between 60 and 120 average wages. Lower and higher income would continue to be taxed at the current rates of 20 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
According to the MPs, an amendment to the Law on Personal Income Tax also calls for scrapping the current provision that allows private individuals to deduct part of their contributions to third-pillar pension funds and life insurance premiums from their taxable income.