RIGA - The Welfare Ministry proposes several support mechanisms to offset inflation for vulnerable social groups, including changes in the amount and conditions of benefits.
Russia's war with Ukraine has caused energy and food prices to increase steeply around the world, including in Latvia. The Latvian government is considering different mechanisms to compensate for the sharp increase in prices, including targeted support for the poorest and most vulnerable residents, the Welfare Ministry points out.
The ministry's report submitted to the government says that, effective next year, income threshold defining a needy household will be raised to 50 percent of the minimum income, making up EUR 313 for single-person households and the first person in a household and EUR 219 for other persons in the household. At present, these figures are EUR 272 and EUR 190 respectively.
In turn, the income threshold defining a low-income household will be set by each local government, up to EUR 436 for single-person households and the first person in a household and up to EUR 305 for other persons in the household.
Therefore 938,700 residents will be eligible to apply for state support.
In addition, more residents will be able to apply for housing benefits from January 1 next year as different coefficients will be applied to the guaranteed minimum income. Furthermore, the state will cover 50 percent of housing benefits paid by local governments.
Finally, the Welfare Ministry proposes indexing pensions one month earlier than usual next year - on September 1. There will also be an annual EUR 200 benefit for pensioners that will be paid in December, starting December 2022. A EUR 200 benefit will also be paid to families with children with disabilities.