In an interview with BNS, Skaiste, 39, confirmed that the state's expenses will be increased by more than 1 billion euros next year amid the absence of additional sources of income. Therefore, these funds would have to be borrowed, she said, adding that the government sector's deficit would probably exceed 7 percent GDP next year.
"The key changes are related to the management of the COVID situation. The former government had the habit of borrowing under government resolutions and not to include that into the budget. Meanwhile, we believe that the funds should be transparently accounted for so that everybody knows how they are spent, and to have the Seimas' mandate for such solutions. Therefore, we are including all COVID-related changes into the budget," the minister said.
In her words, COVID-related expenses could reach about 1 billion euros, and some additional 140 million euros would be needed for other expenses, with the latter amount should be adjusted later. Skaiste also ensured that the government had no plans to introduce additional taxes during this uncertain period, therefore, the government would borrow.
"All European countries follow a similar practice. Borrowing conditions are now very good, and borrowing management is already next year's issue. We should also pay attention to the fact that the majority of those expenses are one-off and related to COVID management, and they should already be absent in the 2022 budget," the finance minister said.
In her words, the government sector's deficit should exceed 7 percent GDP next year.
In 2021, the Lithuanian government plans to review various tax incentives, and probably the taxation system itself, to make it fairer.