RIGA - EUR 9.6 million will be available for new policy initiatives in 2018, according to the Latvian Stability Program for 2017-2020 prepared by the Finance Ministry and to be revised by the Cabinet of Ministers today.
The Finance Ministry says that the fiscal space for new policy initiatives is EUR 9.6 million in 2018, EUR 115.7 million in 2019, and EUR 293.6 million in 2020.
Considering the decision made by the Cabinet in March in relation to the plan to ensure emergency medical services, including childbirth, the fiscal space has been reduced by EUR 8,836,638 annually in 2018-2020.
The Finance Ministry said that the information included in the stability program for the planned events and their fiscal impact is indicative and reflects the moment when the stability program was prepared.
At the same time, the Fiscal Discipline Council says that its estimates considerably differ from the estimates of the Finance Ministry. The Fiscal Discipline Council calls for assessment of the tax reform in medium term and long term. The Fiscal Discipline Council has voiced concerns that the proposed reforms might not help to achieve the desired ratio of the taxes to the gross domestic product.
The Fiscal Discipline Council repeatedly voices its concerns about increasing budget deficit in order to implement reforms in the health care sector. "Expansion of health care service range should be conducted on the account of budget revenues instead of increasing budget deficit. The reform plans in the health care sector should be presented in detail, and they should be based on resultative indicators. Health care reform plan should be based on scrupulous analyses of factors that will increase budget revenues," the council said.