€200m can be invested into roads as part of territorial reform

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€200m from the state budget can be invested into road maintenance as part of the territorial reform, said Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) appearing on LTV July 22.

He also said that the excise tax on fuel could be raised to secure road funding in Latvia.

Linkaits said that over the course of the reform it will become clear which roads should be repaired, so that the municipalities that are being merged would also be connected with appropriate road infrastructure.

The minister said that however that it is impossible to secure the €1 billion road maintenance funding asked by the municipalities. Some money could be found for the task, however. "I hope that we can find funding from the state budget as part of the reform. We can talk about some €200 million," he said, adding that discussions have been held in government over the matter.

The decision, according Linkaits, would be in accord with the movement “towards a more environment-friendly public transport and transport in general.”

His other main talking point was a potential rise of the excise tax on fuel. "On the one hand it would be a painful solution, but on the other it would provide funding for road management," he said. 

As previously reported by LSM, the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry's administrative territorial reform stipulates reducing the number of local governments in Latvia from 119 to 35.

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