Lithuanian liberals re-elect party leader on platform of tax cuts and e-voting

Eligijus Masiulis, left, and Antanas Guoga
DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

Masiulis, who has lead the party since 2008, was expected to run unopposed, but was challenged last minute by MEP Antanas Guoga. Masiulis won the election with 605 votes against Guoga’s 166. The latter was appointed the leader’s first deputy.

The Liberal Movement is currently the fourth biggest party in Lithuania’s parliament, the Seimas, and is considered a growing force in the country’spolitical landscape.

Addressing the party congress on Saturday, Masiulis outlined three policy points that the Liberal Movement should embrace.

First, he said, Lithuania must ease taxes on labour, exempt minimum wage earners from income tax and peg minimum wage to average income in the country.

“It is time that we review additional tax breaks for parents with children who want more freedom and independence. We must break the rule that, in Lithuania, even middle earners are taxed more heavily than almost anywhere else in Europe and the world’s advanced countries,” Masiulis added.

He also advocated revamping the country’s Labour Code, abolishing taxes on reinvested profits and giving tax breaks and other incentives for small businesses during their first year of operation.

Masiulis’s second policy point concerned introducing online voting which, he said, would boost turnout among Lithuania’s expatriate citizens. To press the point, the liberals voted for the party leader via an electronic platform.

Thirdly, Masiulis suggested the need to reform public services – like kindergartens, healthcare and secondary education institutions – increasing the role of the private sector in them.

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