PM: Lithuanian budget to become more social

  • 2004-05-27
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - Revenues of Lithuania's national budget of 2005 should rise by more than one-tenth, with European Union assistance to the Baltic country expected to reach almost 3 billion litas (869 million euros). Moreover, the budget of the forthcoming year will focus on the social sector, the head of government stated last week.

"The budget, including the European Union assistance, will grow by 12 percent, exceeding 15 billion litas, which will include 2.8 billion litas in EU funds," Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas said at a May 21 news conference.
The revenues of the central budget of 2004, as approved by Parliament, total 11.8 billion litas, a 23.6 percent rise from 2003. Expenditures should rise by 25.8 percent year-on-year to 13.6 billion litas, and national budget expenditures should total 15.3 billion litas this year.
In terms of priorities, the 2005 budget will concentrate on the social sector, Brazauskas pointed out.
"The budget of [the social insurance fund] will rise by approximately 500 million litas, enabling us to raise pensions to about 410 litas [per month] - i.e., by approximately 40 litas - 50 litas," the government leader explained.
The state budget of 2005 will provide an additional 30 million litas for school catering, 20 million litas for free lunches for the schoolchildren from grades 1 to 4, Brazauskas noted, adding that approximately 100,000 of Lithuania's low income households would be assigned 125 litas each for the preparation of children for schooling.
"The growth of economy creates more possibilities to help people," the prime minister pointed out.