Concerns about Lithuania’s budget deficit

The National Audit Office said that the 1-percent government finance deficit envisaged by the Ministry of Finance for 2016-2018 is too big. The deficit, it says, cannot exceed 0.5 percent, because Lithuania does not meet the criteria of the EU’s fiscal compact agreements to run a deficit of 1 percent.

President Grybauskaitė said on Monday that Lithuania’s public finance can hit the limit of how much deficit it is allowed to run under fiscal discipline rules.

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“The state budget is a complex product, especially before elections. We can see that social welfare remains a priority, which is a good thing. There’s also additional funding to strengthen our defence, which is also good. But seeing the overall deficit rise so significantly, compared to 2014, indicates that spending exceeds the planned revenue much more than in 2014 or this year,” Grybauskaitė told journalists on Monday and is quoted by BNS.

She reminded that Lithuania had undertaken commitments under EU directives and national legislation to stick to fiscal discipline and will have to submit its 2016 budget to inspection by the European Commission.

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