Every Latvian should boost productivity to live well, says business rep

If Latvian people want to live as well as they do in developed European countries, they have to learn to work as productively, said Aigars Rostovskis, head of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in an interview July 18.

He restated that his organization objects against raising the minimum wage, instead proposing to raise the non-taxable minimum income. Even though that would mean there'd be a lack of about €10 million in the state budget, a solution could be found.

"Then we must take a political decision where to take the money from. I think the reserves are there," said Rostovskis.

He also said the chamber plans to hold a high-level meeting on September 26 between businesses, government and high-ranking officials over how the public could earn more money.

Rostovskis said that the main recommendation is that everyone should become more productive. 

"If we want to live as they do in Europe [sic], we have to learn to work as productively as they do in Europe. At this time productivity lags behind about by half, and this is partially compensated by EU funding. But it can't last forever and it is not a correct vector," he said.

"As a society and as every individual, we have to learn to work more effectively and productively," said Rostovskis. 

While in a separate interview with LTV Latvian President Egils Levits offered a different view about who's responsible for productivity.

He said it's primarily to be increased by entrepreneurs.

"Entrepreneurs have to see to it that their companies are competitive and productivity is raised thereby paving way for higher wages," he said. 

There's recently been talk of increasing the minimum monthly wage in Latvia in 2020, from €430 to €500.

The idea was supported in a meeting of the coalition committee on tax development policy on July 15, with employers and the chamber of commerce duly objecting to the possibility. 

Economy
Economy