‘Taxpayers’ money wasted’ as Lithuania’s public sector wage bill climbs to €1bn

DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The Parliamentary Audit Committee has calculated that the government sector last year took a tenth of taxpayers’ money, almost €1 billion – just for salaries.

“The trends are bad. The numbers are increasing in all lines – trips, entertainment, car expenses and, of course, salaries. The saddest thing are the various bonuses which are intolerable,” said Jolita Vaickienė, the head of the Parliamentary Audit Committee.

Moreover, not all institutions and none of the municipalities and their public institutions have been included in the figures. Almost €260,000 of public money was spent on celebrating state employee’s birthdays.

“We took all the ministries and looked at what went on and for what purpose. Each ministry is incurring such costs – trips to Portugal for €15,000 or €20,000 – and we don’t even see a clear objective for these trips. It is usually as follows: about seven people goes to a conference, to learn and observe. Half a year passes, and different other people go to a conference of the same name – from Thursday to Sunday,” said Vaickienė.

The head of the Free Market Institute Žilvinas Šilėnas, said the government not only does not try to save the taxpayers money but also in reality does not even invest time to figure out where public money should go.

“Every year the government collects more money and spends more. Each year there is an explanation as to why the expenses could not have been reduced – the Russian crisis, American crisis, very bad weather. Every year we are promised that after three years there will be a balanced budget, costs will decreased, and this continues for some 20 years. There is no saving, it is an uneconomic approach to taxpayers’ money,” said Šilėnas.

€6 million have been spent last year on representation. It would seem that the subject of representation should be the state, but a

“It is double standards. Due to missed payment of €50 Tax Inspectorate will do a search, shut down your business and say that even €50 is very important. But it is not a problem to give a state institution employee a €50 gift. These things really bother people,” said Šilėnas.


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