RIGA - The state might start covering 50 percent of the gas price increase for consumers using the average payment rate already before September, Welfare Minister Gatis Eglitis (Conservatives) told LETA.
According to the minister's statement on the social networks, taking into consideration the amount of average payment rate, the Welfare Ministry will propose at the August 9 government meeting to start providing the state support already from August or even July.
State support would be offered also to households heating their homes with firewood.
The Saeima is expected to decide on these proposals on August 11.
Eglitis indicated that before the midsummer holidays, the government decided to provide support to people to help them hope with rising heating costs from October 1 to April 30. However, households using average payment rates are already receiving significantly increased gas bills for July, August and September, which means a huge financial burden to them, the welfare minister said.
Most probably, the Welfare Ministry will propose using the same principle the government planned to implement from October 1 this year - the basic gas price will be set at EUR 68 per megawatt hour, and the government will pay 50 percent of the part of the end-price exceeding the basic price.
As reported, on June 19 the government heard the Welfare Ministry's report on the support measures proposed to lessen the impact of rising energy prices on the least protected groups of society and agreed on a package of support measures worth around EUR 350.2 million, which will be made available to the target groups from October 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023.
According to the Welfare Ministry, the biggest portion of this support is meant for such less protected groups as people with low income, seniors, people with disabilities, recipients of survivor's pension and families with children with disabilities. The plan includes expanding access to housing benefits, provision of social benefits to particular social groups and compensating households for increased energy costs.