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2019.12.17 17:31

Lithuanian parliament passes 2020 budget bill following 4-hour debate

Sniegė Balčiūnaitė, Roma Pakėnienė, BNS2019.12.17 17:31

Following four hours of discussions, the Seimas of Lithuania on Tuesday adopted the state budget for 2020 with 85 votes in favour, 48 against and three abstentions.

Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka told MPs on Tuesday that the public spending budget was realistic, balanced and in keeping with fiscal discipline requirements, while targeting poverty reduction.

Meanwhile opposition MP Gintarė Skaistė, a conservative member of the parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance, said the discussion was chaotic. Aušrinė Armonaitė, another opposition MP, called the bill “misery budget” rather than one for an ambitious and growing Lithuania.

Tomas Tomilinas, of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, said the disagreements were part of a normal social dialogue.

The 2020 budget foresees several dozen million euros in additional revenue from the newly introduced tax on cars and higher corporate tax on banks.

Child benefit payments will go up by 10 euros to 60 euros per child per month as of January, and will grow further to 70 euros in 2021.

Highest earners (of incomes exceeding around 111,000 euros per year) will see their income tax rate go up to 32 percent, and the non-taxable income will rise by 50 euros over the next two years. Previous plans saw it raised by 100 euros.

Old-age and disability pensions will go up 8.1 percent next year. The average old-age pensions will rise by 30 euros, to 375 euros, and increase by 32.5 percent, to 397 euros, for those having the compulsory work experience.

The minimum monthly salary will rise by 52 euros, from 555 to 607 euros, before tax (or by 41 euros after tax).

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