VILNIUS, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The 2018 year was particularly successful for the Lithuanian economy as the country's GDP grew by 3.4 percent, unemployment decreased and wages have been growing, Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Thursday.
Presenting the government's annual activity report for 2018 in the parliament, Skvernelis underlined that reduction of poverty and social exclusion in Lithuania was the main government's priority in 2018 and these efforts will continue.
"So called child money was introduced, the state's expenditures for social benefits were increased. The ongoing structural reforms are the first steps towards further reducing income inequality," Skvernelis said at the parliamentary sitting.
The government's report stated that the state's expenditures for social benefits doubled over the last year from 168.1 million euros to 362.5 million euros.
"People can see the government's work and they feel the improvement. Yet I still face some criticism and dissatisfaction as regards some of the reforms, which is natural," Skvernelis was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office.
Meanwhile, Lithuania's parliamentary opposition criticized Skvernelis saying that other countries in the region grew even at a faster pace than Lithuania.
"Of course, Lithuania's economy has been growing, but, in comparison with other countries in our region, our neighbors were even more successful last year," parliamentary opposition leader MP Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen was quoted as saying by local media.
The current Lithuanian government received its mandate in December 2016.
Under the Statute of Lithuanian Parliament, every year (by March 31), the government must submit its annual activity report. The government activity report is presented by the prime minister who answers questions of MPs during the presentation.