Lithuanian parliament passes 2015 budget

DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The budget was adopted by the votes of the ruling majority, with opposition lawmakers voting against the bill.

The Seimas instructed the government to cut state administration expenses and debt servicing expenses by almost 90 million litas in 2015 and allocate these funds to cultural workers, school students and farmers.

Next year’s budget provides for increasing national defence spending by a third, continuing to compensate for pension cuts during the crisis, raising salaries for the lowest-paid government employees by 5 percent from March, and increasing the minimum monthly wage to 325 euros from July. Unemployment benefits are to be raised to the pre-crises level of 1,040 litas.

The VAT rate for district heating is to be increased to the standard rate of 21 percent, from the current 9 percent, from July. However, the VAT rate for hotels is to be reduced to 9 percent, from 21 percent.

The non-taxable real estate threshold is to be lowered to 750,000 litas, from 1 million litas, and the tax rate is to be cut to 0.5 percent, from 1 percent.

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