VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday signed into law next year's government budget and accompanying laws, as well as the 2023 budgets of the State Social Insurance Fund (Sodra) and the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund.
According to Nauseda, next year's budget is balanced in terms of raising people's incomes, support for businesses, and fiscal sustainability.
"The state will provide greater financial stability to society next year," he said in a press release.
Nauseda noted that the 2023 budget package provides for increasing the salaries of teachers, lecturers, scientists, cultural and artistic workers, social workers, civil servants, internal service officers, doctors and residents, and others.
Other measures include the indexing of pensions for the fourth year in a row, and subsidizing part of gas and electricity bills for households and businesses.
The president noted that the Defense Ministry has major work ahead of it as it implements infrastructure projects for the country to be able to host the German brigade,
"In the current geopolitical environment and in order to have a combat brigade of NATO allied forces in the country on a regular basis as soon as possible, it was crucial to foresee the possibility of borrowing on behalf of the state for military infrastructure projects so as to reach the 3 percent of GDP level in total defense funding," Nauseda said.
"This is what the budget foresees, provided that the deficit targets are met," he added.
The 2023 budget allows raising defense spending up to 3 percent of GDP through borrowed funds, provided that the overall general government deficit for the year does not exceed 4.9 percent of GDP.
Lithuania's general government debt is expected to decrease to 43 percent of GDP as of late 2023, almost two percentage points lower than this year's estimate of 44.8 percent.
Next year's central government budget revenue is projected at 15.544 billion euros, with expenditure planned at 18.629 billion euros.
Next year, the non-taxable income threshold will rise by almost 16 percent, from 540 euros to 625 euros, and pensions will increase to 542-575 euros depending on the length of service.
The budget provides a total of 1.848 billion euros for subsiding electricity and gas prices for households and businesses, and for investments in renewable energy, with another 1.58 billion euros earmarked for increasing people's incomes and almost 305 million euros for national security.