Saeima starts viewing draft budget 2024

The Saeima begins to examine the draft budget of 2024 and the bills accompanying it on November 9, submitting them to the Budget Committee for evaluation.

Budget priorities next year include safety, education, and health, according to the draft plan. The budget bill provides for several tax changes.

MPs have promised to review the budget by the end of the first half of December so that 2024 should not start with a "technical budget" like 2023 did.

There are a total of 19 bills in the state budget draft package.

Saeima Chairwoman Daiga Mieriņa (Union of Greens and Farmers) promised that in difference from this year's budget, next year's will not be reviewed overnight, the Saeima will start viewing the budget at the final reading on Thursday, December 7, but if the debate drags, will continue work on Friday and, if necessary, the weekend.

The draft budget is drawn up assuming that Latvia's gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 2.5% next year, while inflation will be 2.9%. Public debt is projected to grow in 2024, from 39.9% of GDP this year to 41% of GDP next year.

The Ministry of Finance noted that both the deficit and debt values are below the reference values of 3% of GDP for the deficit and 60% of GDP for debt set out in the fiscal rules of the European Union.

The revenue of the 2024 consolidated budget is planned to be EUR 14.5 billion, while expenditure – EUR 16.2 billion.

Compared to the 2023 budget, the planned revenue of the State budget in 2024 is expected to be EUR 1.763 billion higher. State budget expenditure in 2024 is planned to be 1.538 billion euros higher than in the State budget of 2023.

The draft law stipulates that the planned revenues in the basic budget amount to 10 billion euros, while expenditures amount to 12.15 billion euros. The increase in state basic budget expenditure compared to the 2023 plan is 1.29 billion euros, or 11.8%, the bill's annotation said.

The total additional support for priorities for 2024 is estimated at EUR 783.7 million, of which EUR 486.4 million is earmarked for the government's national priorities – internal and external security (EUR 91.9 million), education (EUR 119,5 million) and health (EUR 275 million).

An increase of EUR 502 million is foreseen for the implementation of European Union policy instruments and projects and measures co-financed by other foreign financial assistance.

The special budget projects revenues of EUR 4.8 billion, while expenditure of EUR 4.4 billion. The increase in expenditures of the State special budget against the 2023 plan is 272.4 million euro or 6.7%.

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