Latvia moves towards setting minimum income level

The Latvian welfare system could be overhauled, introducing a minimum income level. The Welfare Ministry thinks it would improve the conditions of the neediest people in society and provide clearer criteria for handing municipal and state-level benefits, reported Latvian Radio Friday.

The Welfare Ministry has started discussions with the government over introducing a minimum income level, which would be reviewed monthly according to current proposals.

At the moment, the state-guaranteed income minimum is at €128.06 a month, however the ministry hopes it will be greater under the new system.

The ministry proposes setting the minimum income level at 40% of the household disposable income median per person, which would set the income minimum at €139 a month at 2015 income levels, Rus.lsm.lv estimated.

The benefits would apply to groups such as pensioners, especially those living alone, as well as families with children, reaching a projected 8.1% of the population whose income are below than the minimum income level.

Even though previously the Welfare Ministry said the new system could be rolled in starting 2017, now representatives of the ministry are reluctant to say when the benefit system could be overhauled. 

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