Latvian Saeima passes «deputy quotas» proposal for next year’s state budget

On 22 November Latvia’s Saeima passed two so-called deputy quotas. One of them proposes allocating EUR 88 000 towards Daugavpils Construction Technical School’s programme intended to provide the area of Višķi the necessary resources in order to implement a modern teaching environment and quality vocational education.
The aforementioned proposal was submitted for the Medium-Term Budget draft for 2022, 2023 and 2024 by Saeima deputies Atis Zakatistovs, Ilze Indriksone, Ainars Latkovskis and Juris Jurašs.
The aforementioned EUR 88 000 will be provided from the state budget programme for emergencies.
Multiple opposition deputies objected to this proposal, voicing confusion over the choice of education institution and why coalition deputies have decided to provide financing. Republika politician party representative Kaspars Ģirģens said this was a proposal from Saeima deputy Janīna Kursīte.
He invited the politician to explain how EUR 88 000 would be used to improve anything. However, Kursīte did not sign up to talk during debates.
Ģirģens’ colleague Evija Papule said she is shocked. She added there are two technical schools in Daugavpils. Papule also said the other school should be given financing to help resolve the railway crisis.
Ēriks Pucens stressed that this proposal indicates how much a single Saeima deputy costs. He too asked Kursīte why she pays attention to only one school, adding that such an approach is not productive in a long-term perspective.
Representative of the Union of Greens and Farmers Edgars Tavars mentioned during debates that there are many different education institutions, so it would be logical for coalition deputies who submitted the proposal would take the time to explain it.
On 22 November the Saeima also supported the proposal from Raivis Dzintars, Juris Pūce, Juris Jurašs, Latkovskis and Zakatistovs, which provides for allocating a grant of EUR 5 000 from the state budget for emergencies towards the Teacher of the Year event.
This proposal received support from 63 deputies of the parliament.
The parliament also decided to pass the government’s previously proposal to allocate EUR 559 988 towards the construction of a new fire departments in Aizpute, Dagda, Iecava, Ilūkste, Kandava, Priekule, Rūjiena and Saulkrasti.
Politicians also rejected multiple other proposals. For example, deputies from Republika political party failed to pass the proposal to divide EUR 12.5 million from the programme of the Ministry of Defence towards the financing of free lunches for 1st – 4th graders. According to opposition deputies, according to the guidelines from the Ministry of Health, the financing necessary to finance free lunches is estimated around EUR 22.3 million annually but only EUR 9.8 million has been allocated so far.
The proposal from the Independent faction to allocate EUR 450 000 from the Social Integration Fund for the Ministry of Education and Science was also rejected.
The proposal provided for guaranteeing support staff for general education institutions – ophthalmologist, physiotherapist and psychologist to help children overcome the lasting consequences caused by Covid-19. The proposal from Aldis Gobzems to allocate EUR 10 million from the funding available to the Ministry of Defence to help create assistant teacher positions to improve the quality of education was rejected as well.