Aid requests could double this year, says municipal union of Latvia

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The number of aid claimants could more than double in the forthcoming crisis, said Ilze Rudzīte, advisor to the Latvian Association of Local Governments (LPS) for health and social issues, said in an interview to Latvian Television on August 9.

Rudzīte said that around 20,000 households were eligible for housing benefits before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rapid rise in prices.

But now the number of households that could have difficulty covering payments could rise to 44,000, or about 100,000 residents.

Rudzīte said that such estimates were mentioned in the draft laws of the Ministry of Welfare. The Welfare Minister Gatis Eglītis had previously said that there could be a “small increase” this year in a group of people who are struggling to pay utility bills. The LPS advisor pointed out, however, that due to high inflation, the aid applicants could be much more than currently forecast.

According to previous forecasts, an additional €10 million will be needed for housing benefits next year. The state promises to compensate for half of these benefits paid to residents by local governments.

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