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New Lithuanian budget: despair and chaos

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Message Lukas Ramonas

Last week Lithuanian parliament adopted the state budget for 2020. The main financial document of the state was approved by the majority of voters.

It is sad to see how Lithuania is suffering without money. Absolute chaos this is how they say in Lithuania about the new budget.

So, state budget revenues are planned in the amount of 11.559 billion euros, expenses 12.705 billion euros. The budget deficit will amount 2.9% of the planned gross domestic product. In other words, the Lithuanian draft hardly met the requirements of fiscal discipline. The budget deficit for EU member states should not exceed 3% of GDP.

It is remarkable that the parliament's consideration of the draft budget was accompanied by mass protests of public sector workers who demanded higher wages. Moreover, the strike was held by school teachers in November. Vilnius University symbolically stopped working for two days. On Tuesday, policemen and firefighters protested outside the Parliament building.

Surprisingly, ignoring massive protests by citizens, Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka called for support for the draft state budget and named it «realistic and balanced».

Only one thing is not clear why this draft budget is called «socially oriented». After all, the expenses laid down in it are oriented only to the army.

It turns out that ordinary people should suffer without money. At the same time, the country's leadership said that the military would not abandon the planned purchases of weapons or military equipment, as well as other planned purchases, construction and repairs.

By the way, the majority of the Lithuanians do not support the increase of military spending, according to Vilmorus opinion poll. So, 55.2% of citizens do not approve the raising of the defense budget to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.

However, despite the opinion of the inhabitants of Lithuania, the authorities do not refuse the idea of increasing defense spending. For example, Minister of Defense Raimundas Karoblis emphasized the need to allocate at least 2% of GDP for defense and gradually increase it to 2.5%. This year, the defense budget is approximately 967 million euros, or 2.03% of GDP.

A similar decision to allocate at least 2.5% of GDP for defense until 2030 was supported by the Lithuanian parliament. Moreover, as the president said in December, defense investment is not a whim, but an "existential need." The leader of the country also expressed hope that the defense spending will be 2.5% of GDP by 2030.

It is known that Lithuania is among the worst countries in the European Union in terms of the financial well-being of the population. So, Estonia takes the 20th place with a total score of 5.85, Latvia 21st with 5.55 points, and Lithuania took the penultimate 23rd place 5.54.

As we can see, the government cannot meet the basic needs of doctors, firefighters, policemen and teachers who fairly require higher wages. But this does not affect military spending.

For the sake of muffling the waves of protests, the strikers will be given trifle and a lot of different promises of a bright future. However, people will not be able to feed their families and the recent wave of anti-government protests eloquently testifies to this fact.

 

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Interested in Politics, economics, The Baltics and sport

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