Coalition pledges €32m for families with many children

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Partners in Latvia’s government coalition today reached an agreement on allocating €32 million in next year’s budget for government support to large families with three and more children.

In the process of work on the 2018 budget, the National Alliance insisted on the necessity to provide a €100 monthly benefit for a third and each successive child to the families raising at least three children aged under 19.

The National Alliance’s co-chairman Raivis Dzintars said after today’s coalition council meeting that an agreement has been reached to earmark €32 million for what's called the “third child policy”.

While the exact amount of the benefits has not been calculated yet, Dzintars believes that the financing might be sufficient to increase the benefit to €100 as the National Alliance proposed.

Politicians could not tell when exactly the increase might come into effect, but it might not happen on January 1.

In order to secure additional money for the new initiatives, the coalition on Wednesday decided to put off construction of a new prison in Liepaja. The project will be put on hold for two years, until 2020.

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 and Farmers Union), what the National Alliance is proposing will require about €85 million, while the fiscal space next year is estimated at €80 million.

In an unrelated measure, coalition parties also decided on September 7 to cut tax rates for fruit and vegetables to 5%. It only applies to fruit and veg found in Latvia and as such won't apply to fruit like bananas and lemons, said Agriculture Minister Jānis Dūklavs (Greens and Farmers Union) appearing on LTV.

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