Saeima committee demands more from government's minimum income plans

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Government proposals for the revision of the minimum income level in Latvia are more reminiscent of accounting calculations than real innovations in social protection according to deputies on the Social and Labor Affairs Committee of the Saeima on Tuesday, August 4, after examining the Ministry of Welfare's ideas for raising the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) level.  

“The Constitutional Court has condemned the social security system built so far for the most vulnerable part of society and concluded that it is based on uncertain foundations. We expect the responsible ministry to take a comprehensive approach to the problems identified and to review the whole system. Unfortunately, MPs are currently seeing only proposals for a small increase in guaranteed income,” said Andris Skride (Development/For!), the head of the committee, according to a Saeima report. 

According to Skride, cash benefits should not be the only support mechanism. 

"First and foremost, care should be taken to ensure that as few people as possible have to live on the minimum income level. The state must achieve a situation where people can ensure their own livelihoods," Skride said.

the head of the commission points out. 

MEPs called for a better picture of who recipients of minimum income are and an understanding of the reasons why they "fall" through all other levels of the social support system. 

The guaranteed minimum income provided to a person by the municipality is currently set at 64 euros per month. The Ministry's calculations mention two possible future amounts of GMI - 109 or 164 euros, which correspond to 20 and 30 percent of median income, respectively. 

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