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Latvian government cancels Christmas

  • 2008-11-25
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS
RIGA 's The Latviangovernment has announced plans to cancel all Christmas parties and greetingcards in an effort to cut back on public spending ahead of the New Year.

The plan also includes forbidding business trips andpremiums. The government has already said it would disallow any holidaybonuses.

To reduce budget expenditures at the end of the year, the only businesstrips that can be allowed are those in which the institution needs to voice itsopinion or participation in the event has been made mandatory. Trips toseminars, conferences, training and experience exchange trips will be fullybanned, unless the host covers 50 percent of expenses or expenses are coveredby the European Union (EU) funds or other foreign financial assistanceresources.

State institutions will not bee allowed to organizeChristmas parties for state budget resources, and Christmas and New Yeargreeting cards will have to be sent in an electronic form.

Under the plan, in December expenditures to main budget ofministries and central state administration institutions may not exceed onetwelfth of expenditures planned for the whole 2008. If there are objectivereasons for exceeding this limit, a detailed explanation has to be submitted tothe finance minister by November 28.

Revenues to state budget institutions are declining considerably due to therapid economic downfall in Latvia,and the government has to decide on spending cuts to avoid a large budgetdeficit.