Minimum income level reform planned as of July in Latvia

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The minimum income level reform is expected to start on July 1, Welfare Minister Evika Siliņa (New Unity) said in an interview on the “Morning panorama” program of Latvian Television on January 12.

The Minister has previously mentioned this reform as one of the main priorities for welfare. The reform provides support for low-income residents: raising both minimum pensions and state social security benefits. If the setting of the guaranteed minimum income threshold changed, this would also change the income threshold of poor and disadvantaged household status.

Currently, the minimum income is €109, with it likely to grow to €125 in July. Siliņa said that some €10 million would be needed to implement the reform this year, and that the minimum income level is to be revised annually.

Following several judgments of the Constitutional Court in the field of minimum income at the end of 2020, the Saeima and the government made changes by lifting the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) level from €64 to €109.

It has not changed since then, and in September 2022, the Ombudsman called on the government to review minimum income levels for GMI and national social security benefits.

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