Saeima members will not decrease their salaries, bonuses or compensation payments next year, according to amendments to Saeima Rules of Procedure approved by all Saeima group leaders, to be reviewed at the Saeima plenary session on Dec. 10, reports LETA. The amendments stipulate that Saeima members’ salaries will remain unchanged next year: a Saeima member’s basic salary before tax will be 986 lats (1,400 euros) a month. Member salaries were reduced from 1,236 lats at the beginning of this year. According to the suggested amendments, members who fail to be elected to Saeima next year will have the right to claim a one-off benefit equal to three monthly salaries. Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (New Era) told reporters today that at a time when salaries are being cut across the board in the country, MPs cannot be an exception. “However, this matter is for Saeima to decide, so I cannot comment on it,” the premier said.
The price for public transport tickets in Riga will be increased to 60 santims (0.85 euros), reports LETA. Municipal public transport company Rigas satiksme will ask Riga City Council’s Passenger Transport Licensing Committee for permission to raise the fare. Currently, a pre-paid ‘e-ticket’ for a bus, trolley-bus or tram ride is 0.40 lats. The state subsidy for public transport in Riga will be slashed next year, which is why Riga City Council will have to increase the fares. The state budget for 2010, which Saeima approved on Dec. 1, stipulates that the government will not subsidize public transport in Riga. On the other hand, Riga City Council will continue to provide subsidies for passenger transportation in the city, though the Riga budget will also be smaller next year, which is why the subsidy will be about 6 million lats smaller than this year. Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs, however, has promised that fares in Riga will not reach 60 santims.