Lithuanian government approves state budget for 2019

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-17 00:56:36|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MVILNIUS, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Lithuanian government approved on Tuesday the country's state budget for 2019 amid growing spending for social security, education, defense.

According to the state budget project approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, Lithuania's state budget revenues are projected to amount to nearly 10.6 billion euros, increasing by 17 percent compared to 2018 state budget, while state spending would grow by 22 percent, up to over 11.68 billion euros, turning into a deficit of 489 million euros, or 1 percent of the country's GDP.

The government, however, argues that including the budgets of municipalities and social security system (SODRA), the country's public finances would have a total surplus of 0.4 percent of GDP. The government plans to accumulate reserves of around 1.5 billion euros by the end of 2019.

The Lithuanian government says the 2019 budget addresses social security issues and structural reforms.

Lithuanian Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka told local media that the budget has been prepared addressing structural reforms and social security issues.

"The key point of this budget is balanced investments into our future, since all spending increases are directed to the field of healthcare, education and social security," Sapoka told journalists on Tuesday.

The largest part of the country's budget expenditures, amounting to over 5.47 billion euros would be allocated to social security.

Lithuania's defense spending is projected to grow by 75 million euros reaching 948 million euros, or 2.01 percent of the country's GDP, thus meeting NATO's defense spending target of 2 percent of GDP.

The government says the budget was prepared based on assumptions that the Lithuanian economy would grow by 2.8 percent.

Following the approval at the government, Lithuania's state budget is subject to approval at the country's parliament.