Finance minister sees no major risks in budget revenue collection

Vilius Šapoka

Lithuanian Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka says he sees no major risks after central government and municipal budget revenues for January to May fell short of the projected levels.

"Generally speaking, we see no major risks in the collection of the central government and municipal budgets for January-May," the minister told BNS in a comment.

He attributed the lower-than-projected revenue to minor one-off fluctuations and one-off factors.

"VAT collection had the biggest impact on the January-May revenue being below the target. VAT revenue fell 26.2 million euros (1.7 percent) short of the projection due to VAT refunds being 76.2 million euros higher this year than in the same period last year," Šapoka said.

"Another minor fluctuation resulted from the State Tax Inspectorate returning more personal income tax refunds in May than last year," he added.

SEB Bank analyst Tadas Povilauskas said, however, that the lower-than-expected budget revenue could be due to overly optimistic estimates, a decrease in the number of employed people and, possibly, an increase in VAT refunds because of investments.

"I wouldn't dramatize the situation. We can say that revenue projections were too optimistic," he told BNS.

The analyst said that the lower-than-projected VAT revenue shows that the authorities have not been very successful countering the shadow economy.

Lithuania's central government and local authorities collected a total of 3.452 billion euros in budget revenue between January and May, some 14.3 million euros, or 0.4 percent, less than expected, but 187.3 million euros, or 5.7 percent, more than in the same period last year, the Finance Ministry said on Monday.

This marks the first time since February 2015 that actual budget revenue has fallen short of estimates.

Source: BNS
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