Seimas approves 2019 budget

Members of Seimas approved the 2019 state budget and municipal budget financial metric project on Tuesday with 84 MPs voting in favour, 41 against and 5 abstaining.

Prior to the final vote, the parliament reviewed a number of new proposals from MPs, rejecting most. Among those the approved adjustments was 1 million euro extra for funding the Special Investigation Service (STT), 5 million euro intended to increase in pre-school education specialists' wages and 2.5 million euro increase to the State Security Department's (STT) funding.

The total amount of assignations is to be 11.696 billion euro. The largest part of extra funding (18.2 million euro) is to go to increasing public sector wages.

With the opposition seeking to postpone the approval of the budget to give time for extra negotiations with teachers, who are on strike, MP Justas Džiugelis registered a resolution, which was signed by both opposition and a number of ruling coalition MPs, that proposed to delay the approval of the budget for a week. However, the resolution was rejected with 51 MPs voting in favour, 55 against and 23 abstaining.

"I understand that much work was done to form next year's budget. However, it is unfortunately arranged without considering the core needs of the Lithuanian people, including at least part of the demands of the teachers, who have been on strike for a month now.

Due to the cabinet's inability to resolve the problems, the teachers, children, their parents and the entire country is in a dangerous situation," J. Džiugelis stated, adding that unlike some claims, the resolution would not have led to chaos and would have just given time to reach a solution.

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