Saeima will begin considering next year's draft budget on Nov. 3, reports LETA. The Cabinet of Ministers at an extraordinary meeting Oct. 26 approved the state budget proposal for next year. Budget revenue is projected at 3.78 billion lats (5.4 billion euros) and expenditures at 4.34 billion lats, a spending deficit of 560 million lats. The central government budget deficit next year is planned at 5.1 percent of GDP, municipal budget deficit at 1.7 percent of GDP. With the European Commission's corrections, the budget deficit could increase by another 1.5 percent, but the total budget deficit will not exceed 8.5 percent of GDP, say the lawmakers. The maximum government debt could reach 7.5 billion lats by the end of 2010.
At an Oct. 23 meeting, the Cabinet of Ministers accepted plans for a unified salary system for state employees. The new system sets the prime minister's salary as the highest - currently 1,908 lats (2,725 euros) per month. The system will apply to local government deputies, officials appointed by Saeima, persons working in state administration, persons working on boards of state and local government companies, those working in the military, etc. Ministry state secretaries cannot have a larger salary than ministers. The president's salary has not been included in the salary system. At the same time, the Bank of Latvia and the Financial and Capital Market Commission have not been included in the new system. The new system comes as one of the recommendations by the group of international lenders in restructuring Latvia's government institutions.