EAPL submitted draft laws increasing the incomes of families and pensioners
‘Once again we would like to raise the topic of the extremely bad social situation in our country and government inaction in solving social problems such as difficult situations of families with children, problems of emigration, incomes inadequate to the needs of residents, poverty, tax diversity,’ said Rita Tamašunienė, chairwoman of the EAPL faction in Seimas during the press conference which took place last week in the Lithuanian Parliament.
The member of the Seimas presented a package of pro-social proposals, which was also placed on the agenda of the Seimas, developed by EAPL. The package included an allowance of 120 euros per month for each second and subsequent child, the draft law on Family Card and proposal to make pensions dependent on an average salary.
Tamašunienė stressed that the monthly allowance of 120 euros for each second and subsequent child would increase consumption and contribute to solving the problem of demographic decline. ‘Having a child became a luxury in our country. 120 euro per month would be a real help for a family. We hope that this important law will be supported,’ said the Chairwoman.
When presenting the proposal of introducing the Family Card for families with many children, the member of the Seimas underlined that privileges, discounts, and deals offered by the card could be used by any member of a large family. Offers could be made not only by the public sector, but also by a private one. ‘For example, Ministry of Health could offer free vaccinations, Ministry of Transport and Communications – discounts on public transport, Ministry of Culture – any cultural events. In turn, the participation in this program would be a matter of national prestige for the representatives of a private sector,’ stated Tamašunienė.
Tamašunienė also stressed, that the aim of the package of legislative EAPL proposals is a complex solution of problems faced by the residents of Lithuania, including all the social groups. According to the data presented by R. Tamašunienė, the incomes of pensioners would increase by 10-15% if the amount of pension would be based on an average salary.
EAPL Vice Chairman Zbignej Jedinskij presented the draft law on the taxation of financial institutions as well as amendments to the tax law. He noticed, that the aim of these amendments is to ensure additional incomes to the state budget to finance social needs (allowance of 120 euros, Family Card, indexing of pensions).
‘Banks and branches of foreign banks operating in Lithuania earned 215.3 million EUR net last year but really insignificantly contributed to the maintenance of the state. The value of assets of the banking system is estimated at 23.4 billion euros. Financial institutions and banks functioning in Lithuania constantly increase payments for provided services, increase lending rates and their prices, restrict and tax the access of Lithuanian residents to their own money. Banks behave very irresponsibly seeking to increase their profits at the expense of Lithuanian residents; they do not take into account social justice and public interest. It is necessary to ensure that banks become major payers of taxes in Lithuania,’ said Jedinskij and added that banks try to avoid paying taxes in all possible ways.
Amendments of the EAPL faction foresee that the assets of financial institutions exceeding the value of 100 million EUR and assets of insurance companies exceeding the value of 50 million EUR shall be taxed with a monthly tariff of 0.0334% or annual tariff of 0.4%. The taxable amount shall be reduced by the amount which the taxpayer has invested in securities of the Government of Lithuania and by the amount by which the taxpayer increased his/her own funds.
Member of the European Parliament, EAPL leader Valdemar Tomaševski stressed, that 3 out of 4 draft laws are aimed at increasing incomes of Lithuania’s inhabitants, while the remaining one is intended at providing additional revenues to the state budget necessary to meet the needs of citizens.
‘The model of family support by paying benefits to children is being successfully applied in other states. For example, the program ‘500+’ has been successfully launched in Poland. Economic indicators in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Hungary are very similar, neighbouring countries are able to take care of their families, while in our country, unfortunately, such projects are not even discussed,’ regretted the leader and expressed the hope that the proposals submitted by the party faction will gain support.
Tomaševski stressed, that the drafts are complex and include not only concrete solutions, but also indicate the source of the funding necessary for this purpose. ‘The pensions paid for our pensioners are one of the smallest in the European Union. They make up only 33% of the average wage. The economic situation in our country is improving, but seniors cannot feel it. The authorities may increase the pensions, if they wish, by only a few euros. In most EU countries pensions are indexed, so it should be alike in Lithuania too,’ underlined Tomaševski and expressed the hope that the implementation of these proposals will start before the autumn elections to the Seimas.