Prime Minister positive about cash receipt lottery

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Latvia is considering to make a cash receipt lottery organized by the government. According to PM Maris Kucinskis, its biggest gain would be the resulting change in people's habits as they would start demanding receipts for goods and services purchased, he said on the morning news program of LNT television on September 6.

At present people in Latvia do not habitually take cash receipts but, if the receipt was a lottery ticket, they would take it and even request it, thus making the seller to pay taxes, Kucinskis said.

Similar lotteries are being organized by governments in other countries, including neighboring Estonia. "It is a way to change people's habits. If you take a receipt, you make things difficult for those, who do not want to pay taxes. It means that more money will flow into the state budget," the prime minister explained.

But he was reserved about the estimated financial gain to the state budget from the cash receipt lottery. "The actual effect would be around €3 million annually from [curbing] the shadow economy," Kucinskis said, noting that the sizable prize fund should also be taken into account.

As reported, MP Imants Paradnieks (National Alliance) has suggested organizing a nationwide lottery of cash receipts to generate extra revenues which could then be spent on the measures to improve the demographic situation, for example. So far his suggestion has been met with approval by the ruling coalition.

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