Lat­vian govern­ment asked not to add ma­jor changes to taxes, health­care and ed­u­ca­tion

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Lat­vian Prime Min­is­ter Māris Kučin­skis, Lat­vian Em­ploy­ers’ Con­fed­er­a­tion and Lat­vian As­so­ci­a­tion of Free Trade Unions ask the form­ing govern­ment to avoid mak­ing ma­jor changes to taxes, as well as al­ready ini­ti­ated health­care and ed­u­ca­tion re­forms.

On Wed­nes­day, 24 Oc­to­ber, the prime min­is­ter told jour­nal­ists af­ter a meeting of the Na­tional Coun­cil for Tri­lat­eral Co­op­er­a­tion that the next govern­ment should not add any ma­jor changes to the coun­try’s tax pol­icy.

«Tax pol­icy is on the agenda of ev­ery new govern­ment. How­ever, this govern­ment had pre­vi­ously reached an agree­ment with busi­nesses that the tax pol­icy should con­tain sta­bil­ity, not rapid changes,» said the prime min­is­ter.

Kučin­skis also ad­mit­ted that no changes should be added to al­ready ini­ti­ated in­dus­try re­forms. «It is im­por­tant to not ruin the health in­sur­ance sys­tem and main­tain the present e-health course,» added the prime min­is­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to the head of the Lat­vian As­so­ci­a­tion of Free Trade Union Egils Baldzēns, the next Lat­vian govern­ment should en­sure health­care fund­ing reaches 4% of GDP by 2020. This is why it is im­por­tant to make de­ci­sions that would en­sure in­creased fund­ing for health­care to re­duce queues, se­cure com­pen­sated medicines and in­crease wages.

Baldzēns also in­vited en­sur­ing in­creased wages for teach­ers and re­solve the mat­ter of wages for so­cial care work­ers.

Lat­vian Em­ploy­ers’ Con­fed­er­a­tion di­rec­tor gen­eral Līga Meņģel­sone stressed that sta­bil­ity is vi­tal for busi­ness­men. Be­cause of that, she asked the next govern­ment to avoid mak­ing any ‘sharp turns’ in the es­tab­lished course. «Im­por­tant de­ci­sions in tax pol­icy have been made up un­til this point. Those de­ci­sions should not be can­celled,» said the head of the em­ploy­ers’ or­ga­ni­za­tion.

At the same time, ref­er­enc­ing what he has ac­com­plished in his post, Kučin­skis told so­cial part­ners that he is not ashamed of the de­ci­sions he has made.

The prime min­is­ter thanked so­cial part­ners for their sup­port and all the work they have done, be­cause de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses were not al­ways easy. «I felt I was on a bat­tle­field the whole time. I re­call fights and ar­gu­ments, but they al­ways led to pro­duc­tive out­comes,» said Kučin­skis, hop­ing that the next govern­ment will con­tinue the di­a­logue with so­cial part­ners in the Na­tional Coun­cil for Tri­lat­eral Co­op­er­a­tion.

Evija Tri­fanova/LETA

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