RIGA - By 2026, the funding of public order and security in the area of interior affairs should be 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics emphasized during a meeting today with Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens (New Unity).
According to Martins Dregeris, the President's communications advisor, the two sides met to discuss the national budget project for for 2024, in particular the main indicators of the national budget and planned tax changes, as well as the amount of funding for internal security and science.
The President stressed the need for a quality social dialogue with the various sectors, as well as potential improvements in the planning of priority measures in the national budget.
The President welcomed the fact that the next year's national budget is based on three main priorities: internal and external security, education and health.
Similarly, the President believes that science needs to be adequately funded. For example, the current funding for science does not provide Latvia with the opportunity to move up the international competitiveness and innovation indexes, where financial investment in research and development is also assessed. Latvia's performance is critical: it has long been aiming for 1.5 percent of GDP funding. The European average for science is now 2.2 percent of GDP, and most are targeting 3 percent.
The parties also discussed the situation with Latvia's commercial banking and financial sectors. The President drew attention to the protracted discussion on a potential solution to reduce mortgage interest payments for Latvian households. Without a concrete solution, it does not help the daily lives of those who are already struggling to make their mortgage payments.