The Prime Minister made this prediction during a discussion on the state of the national economy and possible improvements after hearing a report on Latvia's Stability Program 2023-2026.
Kariņš said that because of the demographic situation, Latvia's labor force will start shrinking unless something is done to change it. Karins warned that labor shortages can hamper Latvia's economic growth, adding that a similar situation can be seen across Europe, which means that there will be a fierce competition for labor force.
In Kariņš' words, the government will have to seriously discuss the issue and come up with solutions, because existing demographic support measures have not helped increase the population.
"I think we'll have to continue to increase the general retirement age... Inevitably, we will have to continue to go up step by step. If we don't do it, our children will not be able to support those who are currently working when they retire," said Kariņš.
Kariņš also said no country can afford to pay a pension to someone who does not work for 40-50 years.
The prime minister indicated that Latvia will inevitably have to consider a phased hike of the retirement age above 65 years.
Commenting on the prime minister's remarks, Welfare Minister Evika Siliņa (New Unity) said on Latvian Radio that although Kariņš called raising the retirement age inevitable, his fellow party member stated in an interview on Latvian Radio's Krustpunktā program that she is not currently considering such a step.
"I have not considered raising the retirement age at the moment. It was not in my plans. We have quite a lot of other pressing issues that we should discuss about pensions," said Siliņa.
A previous raising of the retirement age at a rate of three months per year was started several years ago. It is still ongoing and is set to reach a standardized retirement age of 65 years in 2025.