Lithuania's 2018 budget beyond means - president
Regardless of the projected overall budget surplus of the public sector, the 2018 state budget is in deficit, which shows that the country is living beyond its means, says President Dalia Grybauskaite.
"Although we are talking about a positive budget of the entire sector, I want to accentuate that the state budget remains in deficit, while at the same time at the same time the overall government sector's budget is positive together with Sodra and municipal budgets. Therefore, we have not yet made sure that the state budget lives by our means," Grybauskaite told the national radio LRT on Wednesday
In her words, instruments for reducing the deficit remain the same, namely, reduction of the shadow economy and better collection of taxes.
Lithuania's 2018 budget revenue, including money from the European Union (EU) and other international assistance, should grow by 6.9 percent (EUR 584.7 mln) to 9.072 billion euros, while spending should be up 5.5 percent ( EUR 494.9 mln) to 9.541 billion euros, with the budget deficit narrowing 16.1 percent (EUR 89.9 mln) to 468.6 million euros.
The government sector's surplus is projected to be 240.7 million euros in 2018, making 0.6 percent of the projected gross domestic product (GDP) and being positive for the third consecutive year.
The Cabinet opened discussions in the 2018 budget on Wednesday.