Jobs axed at tax office

Over the last year, reforms at Latvia's tax authority, the State Revenue Service (VID) have led to the loss of around 250 jobs, VID head Ilze Cirule told Latvian Radio May 2.

She said increased efficiency and lower staffing levels were essential to reform the service, which is held in low regard by large parts of the population who have in the past seen it as a dumping ground for political placemen and in some cases, a hive of corruption.

One of Cirule's predecessors was arrested on graft charges and another quit just days after announcing an ambitious reform plan, saying the chances of improving public administration appeared "hopeless" due to factional infighting.

Last year it was announced that about 550 jobs would go at VID, and so far, about half of that total has been reached.

170 jobs have been eliminated from the beginning of this year - half of them are vacancies that will no longer be filled and half are existing jobs that have been axed jobs, explained the head of the VID. She said initially VID reform was more focussed on reducing vacancies - i.e. getting rid of people who haven't actually been employed.

VID reform also provides for the merging of the Financial Police and the Customs Police into a single structure - though at present the idea is on hold as there is no agreement about who will be in charge of oversight the merged tax police.

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Economy
Economy