2019.12.10 12:30

Lithuanian parliament starts second debate on government spending bill

Sniegė Balčiūnaitė, BNS2019.12.10 12:30

On Tuesday, the Lithuanian parliament started debating a revised 2020 government budget bill that increases public spending by 55 million euros compared with the initial draft.

Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka says next year's budget reflects anticipations of slower economic growth in 2020.

“Given that the global and Lithuanian economy is facing a slowdown in growth, the budget is focused on poverty reduction,” the minster told the parliament when presenting the revised budget bill.

“It is realistic, based on compromises with a number of communities, balanced, and fully in line with the fiscal discipline rules,” he said.

In the second debate, the finance minister usually tells the Seimas which proposals submitted by committees, political groups and individual MPs have been included into the bill and which ones have been left out. The minister also responds to MPs' questions.

The parliament does not vote on the bill after the second debate, but sets a date for the vote. On Tuesday, MPs set the date for the final vote on December 17.

MPs may still put forward amendments by that date. The Seimas takes a vote on the proposals and passes them if at least 71 members of the 141-seat parliament support them.

If the Seimas rejects the draft budget bill in its entirety, one more debate is held five to ten days later.

If the state budget is not approved by the set deadline, the monthly government expenditure may not exceed 1/12 of the previous year's annual budget.

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