Losses in the health insurance sector in Latvia for the first half 2009 reached 8 million lats (11.4 million euros), reports LETA. Latvian Insurers Association data shows that the amount of insurance claims paid out over the first six months of 2009 grew by 52 percent, to 28.4 million lats. Premiums received dropped 13 percent year-on-year, to 30.4 million lats. Head of the Association Aivars Neimanis blames inconsistent state policy and unpredictable government decisions for the losses. "The state healthcare system is currently on the verge of bankruptcy; in case the state fails to find a constructive platform for ensuring further functioning of the system, it risks destroying also the private health insurance sector," he said.
The number of companies that tax authorities have investigated due to payment of envelope wages has tripled in a year, reports LETA. In the first half of this year, the Tax Board ascertained 685 million kroons' (43.9 million euros) worth of unpaid taxes overall. At the same time last year, 332 million kroons of taxes were left undeclared. Most of that sum is done by VAT fraud, mainly by using fictitious accounts, though payment of envelope wages has increased. In the first half of 2008, 33 cases of payment of illegal wages were ascertained where companies had to pay penalty of an extra 6.5 million kroons to the state. In the first six months of this year, investigation of 93 cases was completed with an extra 18.6 million kroons demanded from the violators. Envelope wages are paid mainly by small companies and thus the sums are small.
In the January-August 2009 period, turnover of Lithuanian retailers (excluding value added tax) totaled 17.7 billion litas (5.2 billion euros), decreasing 27.9 percent year-on-year, reports ELTA. According to preliminary data compiled by the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, in January-August 2009, the turnover of food retailers shrank 16.7 percent. The highest decrease in turnover, at 25.1 percent, was recorded in companies with 1-9 employees. The turnover of companies employing 50 workers or more dropped 16.1 percent, and that of mid-sized companies (10-49 workers) was down 24.2 percent. Other retailers, excluding vehicle dealers, suffered a decrease of 21.9 percent in sales.