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2019.06.18 14:30

Cabinet starts negotiating Lithuania's 2020 budget

Vaidotas Beniušis, BNS 2019.06.18 14:30

With Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis back from vacation, cabinet ministers are starting negotiations on next year's budget. Uncertainty over the future ruling coalition risks slowing down the process.

The budget is not on the government's official agenda yet, but ministries have already started submitting their proposals to the government chancellery, according to the prime minister's advisor.

“The chancellery and the Finance Ministry will assess them,” Skirmantas Malinauskas told BNS on Tuesday.

The Seimas of Lithuania usually adopts the budget law in December. This year, however, the process might be slower because the ruling parties are renegotiating the coalition agreement.

The ongoing coalition talks involve the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania, the Order and Justice party and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance.

The current government will return its powers after Gitanas Nausėda is inaugurated as Lithuania's new president on July 12. The cabinet's composition might change afterwards.

The Finance Ministry forecasts that Lithuania's economy will grow around 2.5 percent this year and next.

The European Commission has recently commended the Lithuanian government for maintaining a surplus in public finances. However, it noted, cuts in labourr income taxes might shrink the budget over the next few years.

The ongoing discussions now mainly focus on ways to reduce economic inequality which remains one of the largest in the European Union.