A total of EUR 80 million will be available in Latvia’s budget for 2018, as confirmed by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola after the government’s extraordinary meeting.
On August 29, the Cabinet of Ministers discussed requests of different ministries for priorities. Previously, the total value of priorities submitted by ministries was estimated at EUR 600 million. The Finance Minister admits that after a full review of internal resources, this amount will not exceed the approved fiscal space.
Reizniece-Ozola says that ministries are ready to review their internal resources to consider financing priorities.
“It is not about unnecessary expenses, but rather about changing priorities. We have reviewed the funding to be allocated to priorities that had received funding two or three years ago. The result is similar to that of previous years – we have found room for approximately EUR 60 million,” says the minister.
She explains that finances have been found from different sources, including projects the planned expenses of which have never been realized and final expenses turned out lower. Also finances were diverted from funds saved from servicing the state debt. Revenue also increased from fines paid for speed limit violations.
Finance Ministry reports that a review of expenditures has helped identify available resources for common state priorities in the amount of EUR 28.6 million for 2018 and EUR 25.4 million for 2019.
Following the government’s approved guidelines for review of expenditures, including the review of funding allocated to political initiatives in 2014-2016, emergencies and other priorities, internal resources of Latvian ministries have been estimated at EUR 52.5 million for 2018 and EUR 47.6 million for 2019.
“Review of the state budget expenditures complies with the best international practice. We are happy that it has been realized in Latvia as well. The process itself is open. Attention is focused on budget transparency and accessibility for taxpayers,” adds the Finance Ministry. (BNN/Business World Magazine)
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