10 questions to: The New Conservative Party

Ahead of October 6 parliamentary elections we bring you some question and answer sheets from each of the 16 competing parties, listed in the order in which they will appear on ballot papers. The second installment concerns the New Conservative Party.

1. How do you plan to change local government administration?

Municipal administration will be decreased, with the central government overtaking some functions related to education and healthcare as well as schools and hospitals. Likewise, municipal companies will be subjected to OECD good management principles for more effective management. 

2. What are the three ministries that you would most like to lead?

Justice, Interior, Transport and Education.

3. Do you believe the way the Corruption Prevention Combating Bureau (KNAB) works should be changed? If so, how?

Personnel management and the selection of professionals should be improved.

At the same time as personnel is recruited, other measures would be introduced, putting an end to the current, useless and ineffective fragmentation over several "agencies" and setting up a single, strong National Security Bureau that would unite the Constitution Protection Bureau, KNAB and the Security Police for effectively combating corruption and caring about state security. 

4. Should Latvia remain within the European Union and NATO?

Of course. 

5. Should gambling business be reduced in Latvia? 

The New Conservative Party has started an active battle against this plague that causes addiction and destroys families. Thanks to us, new gambling houses will not be opened in Smiltene, Alūksne, Madona and Rīga neighborhoods. We want gambling houses to be closed across Latvia and we ask everyone to sign for that effect on Manabalss.lv.

6. Do you support a Cohabitation Act, which would also provide a basis for legal relations for same-sex couples?

We support traditional family values.

7. Should defense expenditure be increased to 2.5% of GDP in the coming years?

Latvia is one of the few NATO countries that spends 2% of GDP on defense (others are the US, Greece, Estonia, the UK, Romania, and Poland). Within the past few years spending has increased so dramatically that we should first look at how taxpayer money has been spent thus far; how much has been spent according to documents regulating the state defense and security and how much according to good practices stipulated in article 66 of the Constitution.

Then we can go further, introducing a new way of funding units of the National Armed Forces, according to whether logistical criteria are met. Until this is done, any extra funding should be considered only as part of specific investment programs. Only then we can give an answer how much funding we should attract. Of course, the current level of funding should be set at a fixed level with a new law. 

8. What are your overall plans for taxation and tax collection?

1) The minimum wage, and the minimum non-taxable income for salaries and pensions will be €500 a month starting 2019 (the 3x500 plan); wages and pensions between €500 and €1000 will see the non-taxable minimum reduced from €500 to €0.

2) We will decrease bureaucracy related to tax paying and introduce more advanced IT solutions: currently people spend thrice as much time paying taxes in Latvia than they do in Estonia (the World Bank's Doing Business measure).

3) Microenterprises will be able to use an app (like Mobilly) to sort out their licenses, bookkeeping, tax payments etc., as all state IT systems will be united. 

9. Which political forces do you see as potential allies in government, and which do you not? 

Allies: Unity, For Development/For!

Impossible: Harmony, Latvia's Russian Union.

10. What are the three main measures you would take to improve the health care system?

Increasing wages for healthcare workers to keep them in Latvia. (Wages will grow not only for doctors but also nurses and hospital attendants).

We will carefully evaluate all of the big construction projects, measuring their efficiency and whether they're viable in the long term (so that the money used for healthcare isn't spent for maintaining concrete buildings instead of curing people).

We would lift the current initiative which ties healthcare with tax payments, thus making healthcare unavailable for a large number of Latvian inhabitants. 

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