Guaranteed minimum income increase up for discussion in Latvia

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Ministry of Welfare has offered an increase of guaranteed minimum income (GMI) at the Constitutional Court, Latvian Radio reported July 15.

According to the Constitutional Court, the state's level of GMI, €64, is inadequate to ensure basic conditions of life and thus does not comply with the Constitution. It is no longer valid from January 1 2021. The Ministry of Welfare, which determines the level of the guaranteed minimum income, met with the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, which provides this amount to its residents.

Two types of calculation of the guaranteed minimum income shall be offered to the municipalities for consultation, Welfare Minister Ramona Petraviča told Latvian Radio.

"We offer two different methods that could be used to calculate the guaranteed minimum income: the absolute and relative method. (..) One is the set guaranteed minimum income level of €109, and €218 income for disadvantaged persons. The second proposal is to set the GMI at €164 and possibly to set a single minimum level for the disadvantaged. The municipalities then choose a higher amount depending on the financial options. The first option, we estimate, needs an additional €25 million and the second option, around €40 million,” said the Welfare Minister.

Until now, the municipalities have publicly expressed their readiness to provide €80 instead of the current €64. Whether a further increase could be made from the local budget, municipalities will discuss and meet with the Ministry again in early August.


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