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2019.09.10 09:30

Lithuanian parliament begins autumn session, government budget and social spending in focus

Milena Andrukaitytė, LRT.lt2019.09.10 09:30

The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, is convening for its autumn session on Tuesday. Next year's government budget is the key point on the agenda, as well as President Gitanas Nausėda's recent proposals to increase welfare funding.

During the parliament's autumn session, lawmakers will also have to endorse the 2020 state and municipal budgets, as well as the budgets of the social insurance fund SoDra and the National Health Insurance Fund.

The session's priorities also include legislation aimed at reducing social exclusion, with plans to increase child benefits and review maternal leave and childcare payments, the Seimas said.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has recently proposed to increase social security spending by 100 million euros next year, with most of it to go towards raising pensions and disability benefits.

Read more: Lithuanian president's tax proposals met with praise and scepticism

The president suggests collecting additional funding by slowing payroll tax cuts, halving the existing diesel fuel tax exemption for farmers and increasing taxes for non-employment-related income.

On the first day of the autumn session, lawmakers will discuss the session's agenda and the dismissal of judges suspected of corruption, a move initiated by the president.

In all, there are 507 bills put before the Seimas and drafted by the president, government, parliamentary committees, political groups or individual lawmakers.

Forty-five sittings will be held during the autumn session that will last from September 10 to December 23.