Figures fleshed out for €7.5bn budget

Latvia's Finance Ministry has given details of its full budget proposals, due to be debated in Saeima in coming days.

Ahead of Finance Minister Janis Reirs briefing journalists Tuesday, the ministry released the main points of the budget pan, revealing revenues planned at €7.368 billion and expenditure of €7.655 billion in 2016.

Revenues are projected to be €114 million higher than the planned revenues this year, while expenditure grows by €183 million.

The Latvian gross domestic product (GDP) is planned at €26.127 billion at current prices next year.

Revenues to the central government basic budget are planned to be 1.5% or €82.7 million higher than the planned expenditure in 2015.

Expenditure on projects co-financed by the EU policy instruments and other foreign financial aid is to be cut by €55.5 million but expenditure on basic public functions will be increased by €138.2 million.

The government has approved financing totaling €122 million in 2016 for urgent measures, including €3.011 million for raising the minimum monthly wage to €370 per month.

The largest additional allocations to ministries next year are planned at €55 million for the Defense Ministry, €35.682 million for the Interior Ministry and €13 million for the Health Ministry.

The ministy expects GDP growth will be 3.1% in 2016, 3.3% in 2017, 3.5 % in 2018, 3.6% in 2019 and 3.7% in 2020.

The budget deficit is planned at one percent of GDP in both 2016 and 2017 and at 0.8 percent in 2018.

The Latvian government is expected to approve the draft national budget for 2016 at its meeting Tuesday and to submit it to the parliament on September 30 for debate in early October.

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