Ķirsis: Much of Rīga's budget next year to go to education

The increase in Riga's next year's budget will be EUR 67 million, almost half of which is for education, including the increase in teachers' salaries, Rīga Mayor Vilnis Ķirsis (New Unity) said in an interview on Latvian Television's Tuesday morning newscast.

The capital's budget for 2024 is scheduled to be approved at the end of January, and political discussions are currently underway on its distribution. Ķirsis said most, or around €30 million of the increase of a total of €67 million, is for education, so that the strike agreement can be enforced.

It is also planned to build annexes for kindergartens in Rīga districts where there are still queues for a place in preschool education.

"Then there is the social bloc - inflation, raising the minimum wage has also pushed up service prices. Third – there could be an increased investment section – repairs of various schools, streets, and bridges, because Riga infrastructure is not in good condition enough, even at the volumes we saw this summer when half of the city was dug up," Ķirsis said.

It is planned to announce construction procurement for repairs to the Zemitani Bridge soon, then repair the Vanšu Bridge, Vairoga Street transmission and VEF Bridge.

Ķirsis also said that in the next 5-7 years, the goal is to foresee 50 million euros for restoration of Rigas streets so that road restoration is ahead of damage. Currently, €10-15 million is being spent on this.

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