On Monday, 30th of November, Saeima approved next year's budget with 61 votes for and 34 votes against. The budget revenues are planned at 7.4 billion euros and expenditures at 7.7 billion, with a budget deficit at one percent of GDP. Current estimates put Latvia's next year's GDP at 26.1 billion euros - a 3 percent increase from its current figure.

With the recent geopolitical developments in mind, next year's main priorities are Latvia's external and internal security, with health care services and education also receiving additional funds. Highest government officials will also see a considerable pay rise as more than 700 000 euros have been allocated to increase the salaries of ministers, parliamentary secretaries and parliament faction and committee heads.

Other noteworthy initiatives include increasing the minimum monthly wage from 260 to 370 euros, introduction of solidarity tax and increase of the excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, and gambling.

Photo by Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia
Latvian Institute, 01.12.2015, Economy, Politics