The minister told BNS that the child money of 100-150 euros, as specified by Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis, could be a goal that would be achieved gradually.
"Of course, we should aim for benefits that would be as high as possible, however, not as of Jan. 1 of 2018, this has to be gradual. We will have to move towards the sum specified by the Seimas speaker gradually, not instantly, this would be simply unrealistic," said Kukuraitis.
In his words, if the decision is taken to pay 30 euros per child to every family with 1-2 children and 50 euros per child to larger families, an additional of about 180 million euros would be needed from the state budget.
"We want higher sums, however, everything is still in negotiation, the sums (of EUR 30 and 50) have been specified. However, what we want is for every family to feel a change and an improvement, we are thinking about raising the sum to 60 euros, not 50 euros to families that have more than three children. (…) As we are talking about a full tax reform, it is not like we have to simply take the money from the budget, the sum is part of the scheme," the minister explained.
In the government's plan of actions, the aim of paying child money universally, regardless of the family's income, is part of the efforts to boost the birth rate. The government expects to raise the total birth rate from 1.7 children per female in 2015 to 1.9 in 2020.
Currently, families with one or two children only receive child money, if the family's monthly income per capita is under 153 euros. In such case, children under the age of two are paid 28.5 euros per month, while children between ages of two and 18 receive 15.2 euros per month.
Families raising three or more children are paid the above-mentioned sums, regardless of the family's income.
Furthermore, families are granted an additional 200-euro tax-free threshold.