Riga adopts 2018 budget in marathon session

The Riga City Council on Friday adopted its 2018 budget with a €48.28 million deficit.

None of the opposition parties supported the budget.

Riga mayor’s spokeswoman Laila Ivana told LETA that this has been the longest budget adoption sitting since 1996. The meeting lasted for 17 hours with intervals. The opposition lawmakers asked 538 questions during the meeting.

Among the 66 proposals submitted by the opposition for the budget, just one was supported.

In 2018, revenues in the Riga budget are planned at €906.62 million and expenditure at €954.90 million. Riga’s budget deficit is planned at €48.28 million or 5.4%. Revenues to the budget are projected to be by €19 million higher than in 2017.

Tax revenues to the budget are planned to amount at €702.66 million, €145.10 million will be the state budget transfers, €28.17 million will be revenue of budget institutions, and €23.53 million will be non-tax revenues.

Priorities in next year’s municipal budget are repairs and educational institutions, street repairs and social benefits.

€19.32 million will be allocated to public order and security, €248 million will be used to ensure economic operations, €5.8 million will be allocated for environment protection, €77.07 million for general government services, €33 million for management of municipal territories and housing, and €4.4 million for the health care sector.

Riga will also pay €91.58 million into the fund for equalization of local government finances, €334.84 million will be earmarked for education, €91.64 million for social protection, and €48.37 million for culture, recreation and religion.

The social budget is expected to grow by €6 million or 9% to reach €67 million in 2018.

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