Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius explains that poor revenues from income and excise taxes are due to smuggling, though it has decreased, reports ELTA. Kubilius also said that attention should be paid to the fact that last year more money than expected was collected from VAT. “We are going to analyze and solve the problems. One of the reasons for poor revenue from the excise tax is smuggling. However, we have achieved some significant results in restraining smuggling,” said Kubilius on Jan. 18. Finance Minister Ingrida Simonyte said that the national budget tax plan was not completely fulfilled, by 220 million litas (63.7 million euros), which is “very good. In addition, SoDra’s revenue target was exceeded, which means that the deficit limit will not be exceeded and we will not borrow more than we have been planning to borrow. It is very important,” she said. Simonyte said that a lower amount of money was collected from income tax and this was due to behavioral issues. She said that concerning the excise tax the plan for collecting this tax is too ambitious, and smuggling was not efficiently or effectively prevented.
Parliament opposition leader Valentinas Mazuronis says that an item on setting up a commission for Snoras’ bankruptcy proceedings was removed illegally from the Seimas sitting agenda, by breaking all agreements, which could be viewed as an attempt to stifle democracy and the quest for truth, reports ELTA. “We were utterly displeased at the recent trends when the foundations of democracy were undermined in order to hide information from the people of Lithuania. An investigative commission is a tool for parliament to examine various issues, as said in its Statute. It is hard to say why the ruling coalition is doing that. I cannot find other words for this but that it is an attempt to try to suppress free speech, democracy and the simple wish to find out the truth,” said the MP. Meanwhile, Elder of the Social Democratic Group Algirdas Butkevicius said such actions of the ruling coalition make him worried that Lithuania is shifting towards managed democracy.