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