Rita Tamašunienė: this is real and tangible help for families
Amendments to the Law on Family Allowances were registered by the faction of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL) last week in the secretariat of the Lithuanian Seimas. This document is a result of a pro-family policy pursued by EAPL.
The aim of these amendments is to encourage families to have more children. According to the draft, families would get 120 EUR after the birth of a first child if the income per family member did not exceed 153 EUR. After the birth of a second and subsequent child, the family income would not be taken into consideration and each child would be entitled to the amount of 120 EUR.
At present, the family allowance ranges from 15 to 28 EUR, if the income per family member does not exceed 153 EUR.
The EAPL faction suggests that the money needed for child allowances should be obtained through taxation of the assets of banks and large retail chains.
In his conversation with L24, Leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, Member of the European Parliament Valdemar Tomaševski underlined, that our state can afford such a pro-family solution.
‘Lithuania is for sure able to do it. Neighbouring Poland has introduced a child allowance, and economic indicators of Lithuania and Poland are comparable. We proclaim such proposals not for the first time. In 2012 we were the first ones who included into electoral EAPL program the notation on taxation of the assets of banks and large retail chains, as well as assumptions regarding the need to establish a pro-family policy,’ said Tomaševski.
Statistics show that the average family in Lithuania has 1.5 children, while the world average is 2.5 children. In terms of fertility rates Lithuania occupies the disgraceful 182 place among 192 countries of the world.
The initiators of the amendment foresee that the allowance of 120 EUR would be paid for each child until he/she turns 18. ‘This is real and tangible help for families,’ said Rita Tamašunienė, chairwoman of the EAPL faction in the Seimas.
‘The UN estimates that only 2,453 million people will be residing in Lithuania at the end of this century. The current situation and forecasts force to address the problem of decreasing number of births in Lithuania and encourage to immediately search for solutions,’ says the document.
Keeping a child is a challenge for the families in Lithuania, and EAPL points out that Estonia, United Kingdom, Portugal care for the birthrate by paying not that small allowances to their families. Poland will also join the countries mentioned above and will start to pay 500 PLN each month for each second and subsequent child as of spring 2016.