Expert praises recent decisions of the Constitutional Court of Latvia

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The latest decisions of the Constitutional Court on minimum income adjustments will represent a very large step towards Latvia's Europeanization, said the head of the Sociology Department of the University of Latvia, associate professor Baiba Bela, in an interview to Latvian Radio on Monday July 20.

The expert pointed out that Latvia has long been among countries with high income inequality rates and has one of the highest rates of people at risk of poverty, as well as one of the lowest expenditures in the social budget - significantly below the average level of the European Union.

“It is important that a scientific and rational methodology will be developed for how much money a person in today's society requires to meet all basic needs,” Bela said.

She added that for years, both international reports and local researchers have indicated that aid is insufficient in terms of both volume and duration, but nothing has changed since the political will to deal with these issues has not been sufficient.

Bela said that if Latvia wants to be a fully-fledged European country, minimum income levels should be sorted. “This will reduce income inequality very significantly for us,” Bela added.

The Constitutional Court decided previously that the level of guaranteed minimum income specified in the State, which is EUR 64 per month, does not comply with the Constitution. The Court also ruled insufficient income for seniors and disabled people.

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