In ten hours Latvian Saeima tackles one-third of received proposals for 2022 budget

On Monday, 15 November, Latvia’s parliament commenced the viewing of the 2022 state budget package. In ten hours deputies reviewed one-third of all submitted legislative drafts.
So far the parliament has tackled five out of 14 legislative drafts and 46 out of 567 proposals.
Most proposals were received specifically for the legislative draft On the Medium-Term Budget for 2022, 2023 and 2024 and the legislative draft On the State Budget 2022.
Debates are expected to be the longest for these proposed amendments.
Parliamentarians did manage to pass amendments to the Law on Governance of Capital Shares of a Public Person and Capital Companies, which propose a single regulation for the application of private sector income taxation on state and public companies in which the state is a shareholder. Deputies also passed in the final reading amendments to the Film Law, which provide for delegating administration of foreign film co-financing to the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.
After lengthy discussions members of the parliament also passed amendments to the Value Added Tax Law. These amendments reduce VAT to 5% for books, printed press and news portal subscription fee.
At the same time, a number of proposals from the opposition in the context of this legislative draft were rejected on Monday. For example, the Saeima rejected the proposal to apply 5% VAT rate for electricity and natural gas, their transmission, as well as MPC from 15 November 2021 until 1 June 2022.
The parliament also rejected the proposal from the opposition to reduce VAT to 4% for fresh meat, fresh fish, eggs and dairy products. In the second half, discussions turned towards the planned reform of the remuneration in state administration and the wage increase for high-ranking officials in 2023.
The opposition described it as inappropriate wage increase, considering the situation.
Deputies reviewed 22 out of 54 proposals submitted for amendments to Law on Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Local Government Authorities.
On Tuesday, 16 November, deputies will continue viewing this and other legislative drafts accompanying the state budget.
As previously reported, Latvia’s government has conceptually passed the state consolidated budget plan for 2022. In it consolidated budget revenue is planned at EUR 10.6 billion and expenditures – 12.4 billion.
Read also: Latvian parliament conceptually passes the 2022 state budget project