Cash for demography may be found by halting Liepaja prison project

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Financing for demographic measures might be found by postponing Liepaja jail project, on September 6 said Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) and Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens/Farmers).

After the meeting with social partners, Kucinskis was aked by journalists whether financing for demographic problems could be found by postponing Liepaja jail construction project, for example. Kucinskis said that different variants are being discussed, and one of the solutions could be postponement of an investment project. "I am open for such talks, I am not negative," the prime minister said.

The finance minister told LETA that she would support the idea for suspending Liepaja jail project. "If we have to choose between support to families with children or higher costs for construction of a jail, I support the first idea," said Reizniece-Ozola.

Latvian Employers Confederation (LDDK) president Vitalijs Gavrilovs told the press after the meeting with the prime minister that the government has to hold to the plan that includes demographic measures, but a detailed plan for financing these measures still has to be developed.

"The government’s action plan provides that the Cabinet, social partners and other experts have to develop a special program for support to families. The program has now been developed and will soon be revised by the government. The next step should be development of the financing model," LDDK president said.

As reported, the ruling coalition members last week were still unable to reach agreement on 2018 state budget as the National Alliance claimed that a big chunk of the budget go to demographic measures. According to Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens/Farmers), what the National Alliance is proposing will require about €85 million, while the fiscal space next year is estimated at €80 million.

LETA also reported that taking into consideration that construction companies which bid for the right to build a new prison in Liepaja are all asking more than the government can afford to pay, a new tender is to be announced.

Two construction companies - Re&Re and UPB - have bid for building the new Liepaja Prison. UPB has asked €114,120,357 (plus value added tax) for building the new prison, and Re&Re - €123,416,618.

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