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2013.12.13 11:18

Lithuanian Parliament approved the Budget for 2014

LRT | Algirdas Acus2013.12.13 11:18

Lithuanian Parliament approved a deficit-slashing Budget for 2014, with the goal of bolstering Lithuania’s bid to join the Euro zone.  

Lithuanian Parliament approved a deficit-slashing Budget for 2014, with the goal of bolstering Lithuania’s bid to join the Euro zone.

“The Government continues to pursue rigorous financial discipline”, denotes the social democrat Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius.

The 2014 Budget is aimed at reducing the public sector deficit to 1.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), down from 2.9 percent this year.

Lithuania expects to join the Euro zone in 2015; its members are required to pull the deficit under 3.0 percent.

Eighty-one lawmakers voted for the Budget, 32 voted against and 14 abstained.

The Budget provides for nearly 31 billion Litas (9 billion Euro) in spending and 30 billion Litas in revenue, with growth forecast of 3.7 percent this year and 3.4 percent in 2014.

Value-added tax (VAT) will remain the largest single source of budget revenues next year, expected to add up to 9.8 billion Litas to the State Budget.

Leader of the Conservatives and the Parliamentary Opposition Andrius Kubilius praised the Government for its compliance with the fiscal discipline.

However, he criticised the Cabinet for its decisions to increase wages for officials instead of allocating more money for culture sector, pensioners and other needs.

SHOTLIST:

Vs of Parliament

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ALGIRDAS BUTKEVICIUS, Prime Minister, leader of Social Democrats:
 

There have been many statements about social sensibility. It looks like some people think it's possible to create a welfare state through social benefits. However, the goal of this Coalition and this Government is to improve employment policy, raise labour income levels, and talk less about the growth of social allowances. Our aim is to decrease social benefits.

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ANDRIUS KUBILIUS, Leader of the Opposition:
 

If they wouldn't have raised so selfishly their wages, as well for the Government officials, there would be more money left for culture and other sectors; to say nothing of the urging need of raising pensions.

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