Lithuania‘s Conservatives claim that if their new economic program were to be implemented 147,000 new jobs would be created in Lithuania over the next five years, with a plan that they say mimics Ireland and Israel‘s success.
The party also claimed that under its plan if the party was in government the average monthly wage would reach €1,250 after taxes and that 80,000 Lithuanian expats would come back to Lithuania.
Conservative leader, MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis named Ireland and Israel as role models. “In the past these two countries confronted mass emigration, low salaries, high unemployment, particularly unstable geopolitical environment, today both countries are export giants creating high value-added goods and services,” said Landsbergis.
The Conservatives intend to achieve their goals through measures such as a new free economic zone, vocational training reformed according to the German model and a strategic investment fund. The promises are contained in its plan for resource mobilization and attracting investment for an economic breakthrough in 2016-2020.
However, analysts were skeptical of the plans: “I see a gap between what is offered and the reality. The idea is to only attract talent, but we should speak in general about attracting professionals. The program is written from a position of the state, rather than from a perspective of a human. Moreover, missing were specific measures and those identified are not sufficiently ambitious,” said Nerija Putinaitė, associate professor at Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science (TSPMI).
“The thing that surprised me – there is basically nothing on macroeconomic policy,” said VU TSPMI political scientist Dr. Vytautas Kuokštis. He noted that the Conservatives had made no mention of tax policy.
“You identified inequality as a problem, but failed to propose any measures to reduce it. Foreign investment attraction alone will not change the situation,” said Vytautas Kuokštis.
“I remember perfectly how in year 2000 or so Andrius Kubilius [former leader of the Conservatives] described what it is like to live in Ireland. However, this country’s history is an outstanding example, usually such bursts do not occur in other states, we have to work little by little,” said VU TSPMI political scientist prof. Ramūnas Vilpišauskas.