News

 15 November 2017

Fiscal discipline council announced communication services procurement. Procurement application's deadline is 1 December 2017 10:00 o'clock. More information available in Latvian here.

Irregularity report #5 18 October 2017

During the Cabinet meeting that took place on 17 October 2017 the Cabinet discussed an agenda item that foresees the reallocation of savings. The Council objects to the decision to reallocate savings. This decision reduces maximum permissible government expenditures for 2017 by 1 008 000 euro. The Council contends that the decision to allocate funds to the Ministry of Education and science and the Ministry of Transport by reducing expenditures on payments to the EU budget creates a non-conformity with the Fiscal discipline law.

Rapid economic growth requires a faster reduction of the budget deficit

Rapid economic growth requires a faster reduction of the budget deficit 5 October 2017

The budget execution results for 2017 will be positive, despite several recent decisions by the Government of Latvia to increase budget expenditure. With the pace of economic growth picking up, budget expenditure will not grow sufficiently to increase the wages of public sector employees at the same pace as the private sector. This will create new challenges, and decisions will have to be made regarding which priorities to finance with the limited funds available. The reduction of public debt by way of balanced budgets or budgets with a surplus will be an important task of fiscal policy in the near future. These are the conclusions of the Surveillance report, which was published on 5 October by the Fiscal discipline council.

Fiscal council 4 October meeting issues 4 October 2017

Council meeting was held on 4 October 2017. The main agenda items were (i) the main topics to be covered in the Fiscal discipline surveillance report and (ii) developments regarding the non-conformity reports that were published in September.

 

Government violates the Fiscal discipline law for the third time within three weeks 20 September 2017

During the Cabinet meeting that took place on 19 September 2017 the Cabinet discussed an agenda item that foresees the reallocation of savings from the budget sub-programmes "Payments to the budget of the European Community" and "State debt management" reducing them for 4 010 609 euro and 96 216 euro accordingly.

Government decision causes an exceedance of maximum permissible State budget expenditures 15 September 2017

During the Cabinet meeting that took place on 14 September 2017 the Cabinet discussed an agenda item that foresees the reallocation of savings from the budget sub-programme “Payments to the budget of the European Community” to the sub-programmes of the Ministry of Health’s budget programme 33.17.00 “Emergency medical aid provision at hospitals”. A total of 16 400 000 euro are reallocated.

Successfully ended procurements for expert consultations 15 September 2017

Successfully ended procurements for expert consultations. More information available in Latvian here.

The use of savings creates a non-conformity with the Fiscal discipline law 6 September 2017

During the Cabinet meeting that took place on 5 September 2017 the Cabinet discussed an agenda item that foresees the reallocation of  savings from the budget sub-programme “Payments to the budget of the European Community” to the sub-programmes of the Ministry of Transport’s budget programme “Public transport”. A total of 19 046 489 euro are reallocated.

The Council has started work on the Monitoring report 5 September 2017

A Fiscal discipline council meeting took place on 4 September 2017. The main item of discussion was the list of topics that should be covered in detail in the annual Monitoring report. The report will be published in October. Other items of discussion were (i) the research agenda for 2018 and (ii) cooperation with experts who were engaged as part of the procurement procedure.

The Fiscal council urges not to forget the safety reserve during times of economic growth 24 August 2017

On 24 August 2017 the Fiscal discipline council (Council) informed the media about the endorsement of the Ministry of Finance’s macroeconomic forecasts, and indicated that they are realistic. However, the macroeconomic forecast confirmed the suspicion that the economy is heating up. This requires cautious fiscal policy (the establishment of fiscal reserves and the reduction of public debt), rather than fiscal expansion. The Council notes that the Government consistently uses all the available options to deviate from the budget deficit target stipulated in the Fiscal discipline law – 0.5 of GDP.

Fiscal council announced research procurement 9 August 2017

Fiscal discipline council announced research procurement. Procurement application's deadline is 4 September 2017 10:00 o'clock. More information available in Latvian here.

The report on the 2017 survey has been published

The report on the 2017 survey has been published 2 August 2017

The annual opinion survey on budget discipline was carried out in April 2017, in cooperation with the social research centre SKDS. The report presents the results of the survey, which (i) provide insight into public opinion on issues related to fiscal policy and sustainability, and (ii) raise questions that have to be addressed in the fiscal sustainability report currently being prepared by the Council.

Non-conformity report regarding the draft legislation of the tax reform 17 July 2017

The Fiscal Discipline Council has identified a possible non-conformity with Section 9 of the Fiscal discipline law that could be rectified upon passing a new medium-term budget framework.

Baltic-Finnish fiscal supervisors are critical towards the flexibility of fiscal discipline assessments

Baltic-Finnish fiscal supervisors are critical towards the flexibility of fiscal discipline assessments  16 June 2017

On 16 June 2017 in Tallinn, at National Central Bank of Estonia, for the third time there have met Baltic-Finnish Independent Fiscal discipline institutions. At the annual meeting there have been discussed topical issues of the budget and fiscal policy analysis process of our neighbouring countries.

Macroeconomics research procurement 15 June 2017

Fiscal discipline council announced research procurement. Procurement application's deadline is 25 July 2017 17:00 o'clock. 

Fiscal Council: fiscal sustainability should be addressed carefully, by also taking into account associated social and political risks

Fiscal Council: fiscal sustainability should be addressed carefully, by also taking into account associated social and political risks 6 June 2017

On 6 June the Fiscal discipline council (hereafter – Council), in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Latvia, organised a discussion on fiscal sustainability and the role of the public sector in stimulating economic growth and social welfare. As a result of the discussion, it was concluded that the current level of tax revenues is insufficient to meet the needs of the country and there is a risk that the level of public debt will increase.

The Fiscal Discipline Council acknowledges the legal issue and is working on resolving it 19 May 2017

After receiving and discussing the report from the State Audit Office (approved on 26 April), which claims that the Council has exceeded its institutional mandate by hiring three full-time experts, the Council acknowledges the existence of a legal problem and, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and the Saeima, will attempt to resolve it as soon as possible. The Council stresses that the problem arose due to the fact that the execution of its functions objectively requires more than one full-time employee. This has also been acknowledged by the Ministry of Finance and the Saeima.

Fiscal Council concerned with the proposed budget deficit 17 May 2017

The Council press release is available in Latvian.

Fiscal Council stresses the need for transparent estimates of the fiscal impact 9 May 2017

The Fiscal Discipline Council agrees that a tax reform is necessary, and the Council will address this issue in detail on 17 May when additional information will have been obtained regarding the quantitative estimates. The Council stresses that it will monitor whether there are non-conformities with the stipulations of Section 9 of the Fiscal Discipline law.

In view of the differences in results, the Council suggests proceeding carefully when preparing the budget for 2018 28 April 2017

The main conclusions regarding the expenditure ceilings for 2018 have not been modified. In view of the fact that the Cabinet has not yet discussed the conceptual report On the reform of the health care system and the tax reform is still in development, the Council's calculations differ by the cumulative amount of both deviations from the budget deficit target (249.2 million euro).

Fiscal council: public debt continues to grow 21 April 2017

Despite the annual growth rate of Latvia’s economy reaching an average of 3.3% between 2011 and 2016, public debt has increased by 1.37 billion euro (1.09 billion was used to finance the general government deficit). This corresponds to a per capita increase of 921 euro (from 4 178 to 5 098 euro) and per employed person increase of 1331 euro (from 10 310 to 11 641 euro).

Fiscal Council claims that further work is needed to clarify the fiscal framework for 2018 13 April 2017

The Fiscal Discipline Council has analysed the most important plans that have been included in Latvia’s Stability Programme 2017-2020. Decisions that bear on tax policy, the reduction of unemployment and health care have been assessed. The Council has endorsed and the macroeconomic development scenario used as the basis for drafting the budget and looked into key fiscal rule issues. However, the Council is concerned that government expenditure is increasing more rapidly than the economic growth potential.

Fiscal Council chairman Jānis Platais shares the experience with OECD working group colleagues

Fiscal Council chairman Jānis Platais shares the experience with OECD working group colleagues 6 April 2017

On 6 April 2017 in the 9th Annual meeting of the OECD network of Parliamentary budget officials and independent fiscal institutions Latvian Fiscal discipline council chairman Jānis Platais has provided the presentation on the Council experience.

Fiscal Council: the impact of the tax reform should be carefully assessed 30 March 2017

The Fiscal Discipline Council, in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Latvia, is organising an expert discussion on the tax policy reform proposed by the Ministry of Finance. The purpose of the discussion is to consider whether the implementation of the reforms proposed by the Ministry of Finance will ensure the achievement of tax revenue targets.

Fiscal council is looking for the expert in macroeconomics 7 March 2017

Fiscal discipline council is looking for the expert in macroeconomics. More information available in Latvian.

Fiscal Council: EU funds delay could have a negative impact on the budget execution results 16 February 2017

On 16 February 2017 the Fiscal Discipline Council endorsed the Ministry of Finance’s macroeconomic projections that will be used as the basis for drafting next year’s budget. An early review and endorsement of the MoF’s macroeconomic projections by the Council has been agreed upon to support the effort of the Government during the preparation of annual documents - the stability programme and the medium-term budget framework.

We will wait for followers in the public administration

We will wait for followers in the public administration 15 February 2017

Today we have splendid followers that we are expecting in the future for the work in public administration!

The Council recommends implementing and monitoring well-conceived reforms in the health care sector 9 February 2017

A Fiscal discipline council meeting took place on 9 February 2017. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance, who informed Council members about the latest macroeconomic forecasts that will be used when preparing Latvia’s Stability programme 2017-2020Questions relating to public expenditure on health care were also addressed during the meeting. Special attention was paid to the long-term financing needs of the health care sector.

Yearly survey and research procurements 1 February 2017

Announced procurements on the yearly surveys and expert consultation on fiscal forecasts 

Economic development trends in Latvia are ambiguous 31 January 2017

Yesterday during a gross domestic product working group meeting, with participation of the Bank of Latvia experts, Fiscal discipline council discussed the trends in the macroeconomic development of Latvia.

Jānis Platais: first three years of the Fiscal Council work 31 January 2017

Opinion article by Chairman Jānis Platais on the first three years of the Fiscal Council work available in Latvian.

Fiscal risks working group continues the work on assessment methodology improvements 31 January 2017

A meeting of the Fiscal Risks Working Group of the Fiscal Discipline Council took place on 31 January 2017. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance. The main items of discussion were the conditions for the reallocation of appropriations, improvements to the monitoring of fiscal risks and budget revenue execution trends.

The Fiscal Council re-elects Jānis Platais to the position of Chairman

The Fiscal Council re-elects Jānis Platais to the position of Chairman 30 January 2017

In accordance with Section 26, Part 1 of the Fiscal discipline law, the Council re-elected Jānis Platais to the position of Chairman, and Ingars Eriņš to the position of Vice-Chairman. The law allows for a re-appointment for a period of three years.

In 2016 the consolidated government budget balance is better than planned 27 January 2017

Based on data published by the Treasury, in 2016 the consolidated government budget balance was - 101,7. This is better than the outturn forecasted when the 2016 budget was approved (-341,9 million euro). Positive deviations are also evident with regard to the execution of the revenue plan. Based on data published by the State Revenue Service, revenues exceeded the planned amount by 88.3 million euro.

Saeima approves Mārtiņš Kazāks and Morten Hansen for the second term in Fiscal Council

Saeima approves Mārtiņš Kazāks and Morten Hansen for the second term in Fiscal Council 22 December 2016

Today, on 22 December 2016, Saeima has approved Mārtiņš Kazāks and Morten Hansen for the second in Fiscal Council.

Fiscal Council's 2016 annual summary and support to reappointment of its members 21 December 2016

Today Fiscal Discipline Council publishes a brief summary on the key developments in 2016, and expresses support to two of its members, who are invited to the discussions in the Saeima Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee regarding their potential reappointment as Fiscal Discipline Council members for a second term.

Verifying compliance with the requirements of Article 11 of the Fiscal Discipline Law 9 December 2016

According to Article 28 Part 7 of the Fiscal Discipline Law, the Fiscal Discipline Council shall prepare and submit to the Saeima and the Cabinet's attention of fiscal policy matters, where it finds them important to comply with the Fiscal Discipline Law terms.

The Council will commence work on a fiscal sustainability report in 2017 7 December 2016

In the final meeting of 2016 the Council met with representatives from several Ministry of Finance’s departments: Fiscal policy department, Economic analysis department and Tax analysis department. In addition, the Council discussed the Ministry of Finance’s reply to the irregularity report issued by the Council.

Fiscal discipline council in its webpage launches a new page dedicated to pupils to obtain knowledge about the fiscal discipline

Fiscal discipline council in its webpage launches a new page dedicated to pupils to obtain knowledge about the fiscal discipline 2 December 2016

This new section "Knowledge" contains educational materials for public use. The Latvian version also contains two surveys (one on fiscal discipline for students) and one on tax morale, and a presentation that can be used as teaching material for high-school students.

Research paper: Public debt in Latvia – deficit and ageing

Research paper: Public debt in Latvia – deficit and ageing 1 December 2016

As a result of the most recent financial crisis, government debt levels increased dramatically in Latvia and the European Union more generally. The Fiscal Discipline Law stipulates that government debt should not exceed 60% of GDP. This is one of the four fiscal rules that have to be observed when planning and executing the state budget.

Non-conformity report regarding the reallocation of appropriations from the Ministry of Finance’s budget sub-programme “Payments to the budget of the European Community” 11 November 2016

According to Part 1, Section 28 of the Fiscal discipline law, the Fiscal discipline council shall monitor whether the medium term budget framework law and the annual state budget law are prepared and implemented in compliance with the fiscal rules stipulated in the Fiscal discipline law.

Reports on the public opinion surveys carried out in 2016 have been published 8 November 2016

The Council commissioned two public opinion surveys in the first half of 2016. The first studied the attitude of Latvia’s inhabitants towards paying taxes (carried out by Latvijas fakti). The aim of the second survey was to ascertain people’s opinion on issues pertaining to fiscal policy and budget discipline (carried out by SKDS).

The Fiscal Council objects to increasing the deficit on account of additional expenditure on education. 25 October 2016

"The Fiscal Discipline Council agrees that structural reforms in education should be a government priority. Improved quality of education can lead to increased productivity, which is currently one of the major obstacles to the country’s economic development and convergence to the EU average", argues Council member Morten Hansen.

"Nonetheless, the budget deficit and, consequently, public debt should not be increased to implement these reforms, especially since the funds aim at raising salaries and not to pay for structural reforms per se. This is not a one-off measure and will permanently increase expenditures. Other sources of funding are possible, without raising the budget deficit. One option is to look for available resources within the education sector itself; this would be preferable, as overall public funding for education in Latvia is higher than the EU average. Another option would be to compensate expenditures by finding ways to increase revenues, without deviating from the budget balance target and increasing the budget deficit", Morten Hansen explains.

Let's talk about the deficit

Let's talk about the deficit 19 October 2016

Today we have talked about the deficit in the seminar for state institutions employees and also in the career day event "Sirup of professions" for Latgales suburb schools at Riga Secondary school 25.

Fiscal council presents Fiscal surveillance report to Saeima Budget committee 17 October 2016

Fiscal discipline council deputy chairman Ingars Erins presents Fiscal surveillance report to the Saeima Budget and finance (taxes) committee.

Procurement on the communication services 14 October 2016

Announced procurement on the communication services till 4 November 2016.

More information available in Latvian here.

The current economic situation requires strict fiscal discipline 6 October 2016

The Latvian Government is broadly compliant with the principles of fiscal discipline, but both 2014 and 2015 saw negative deviations from balance targets set in legislation. This is the conclusion of the Fiscal Discipline Council's annual Surveillance Report, which was published on 6 October.

Video summary of the conference about the Fiscal discipline law 19 September 2016

On 1 June 2016 the Fiscal discipline council, in cooperation with the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia, organised an international conference The Fiscal discipline law: The first three years and future prospects. The purpose of this conference was to improve public understanding of budget discipline by holding a public discussion before the Government commenced work on the 2017 state budget. Below is a video summary of the conference and the main issues discussed at the event.

The Fiscal Discipline Council: The Results of UK’s Referendum May Affect Tax Revenues in Latvia 2 September 2016

During the meeting that took place on 2 September 2016, the Fiscal Discipline Council discussed the budget planning process, the changes in the macroeconomic environment as a result of the referendum to leave the European Union held in the United Kingdom on 23 June, and the impact of the result on the macro-fiscal environment in Latvia.

Co-operation procedures amended: more precise obligations regarding deviations and recommendations fulfilment 9 August 2016

On 29 July 2016 the Ministry of Finance and the Fiscal discipline council updated the Memorandum of Understanding by adding more precise version about the obligations regarding the Fiscal discipline council recommendations (so called comply or explain principle), as well as with the assessment of deviations in accordance with the Fiscal discipline law.

The fiscal security reserve is included in the Government’s budget plan 2 August 2016

On 2 August 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the establishment of the Fiscal security reserve for the medium-term budget framework period (2017-2019). The Fiscal security reserve will be established in the amount of 0.1% of GDP, which is the minimum amount permitted by the Fiscal discipline law.

Fiscal Council will not approve next year budget without fiscal safety reserve 17 June 2016

Fiscal Council will not approve next year budget without fiscal safety reserve. Interview with the Fiscal Council chairman Jānis Platais. More information available in Latvian at financenet.lv portal.

Fiscal Ccouncil endorses the Ministry of Finance macroeconomic projections 16 June 2016

The Fiscal discipline council endorses the Ministry of Finance macroeconomic projections, particularly real and nominal GDP growth, potential GDP growth and output gap, inflation and GDP deflator, for 2017-2019. 

The Council provides an opinion on the macroeconomic forecast

Survey: a considerable part of Latvia’s society is lenient towards tax evasion 15 June 2016

The Government’s declaration includes a plan to increase tax revenues by 2020, primarily by limiting the shadow economy. Both studies and the publications of international organisations indicate that Latvia’s shadow economy is above average levels in the European Union. One of the factors that influences the size of the shadow economy is people’s attitude towards taxes and paying taxes. In cooperation with the social research centre Latvijas fakti a survey was conducted in order to ascertain people’s views on the abovementioned topics.

Fiscal Council: budgeting process for the next year expected to be complicated due to disrupted economic growth 10 June 2016

On 10 June 2016, the Fiscal Discipline Council endorsed the Ministry of Finance’s macroeconomic projections that will be used as the basis for drafting Latvia’s medium term budget framework 2017-2019. Early review and endorsement of the MoF’s macroeconomic projections by the Council has been agreed to support the effort in the Government in preparation of annual documents - the stability program and the medium-term budget framework.

Fiscal Council discusses the Ministry of Finance macroeconomic forecasts 8 June 2016

Today during the Fiscal Discipline Council meeting, the macroeconomic trends and forecasts for the coming years were discussed with the Ministry of Finance representatives.

Baltic Fiscal institutions continue the budget discipline discussions in Lithuania 3 June 2016

On 2 June 2016 Baltic independent institutions met for the second time. This year meeting was at the State Audit Office of the Republic of Lithuania, which is the Lithuanian independent fiscal institution. Baltic experts have exchanged the experience about the macroeconomic and fiscal policy issues. Lithuanian colleagues informed about their plans to issue fiscal sustainability report at the end of June 2016. Starting from this year the report will be published regularly. Next year meeting of the Baltic independent institutions will be held in Estonia.

Fiscal discipline law: sound regulation, but implementation should be improved

Fiscal discipline law: sound regulation, but implementation should be improved 1 June 2016

Today the Fiscal discipline council in cooperation with the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia are organising an international conference The Fiscal discipline law: The first three years and future prospects. The purpose of this conference is to improve public understanding of budget discipline by organising a public discussion among professionals before the Government commences work on the 2017 state budget.

Fiscal Council GDP working group discussed current demographic and labour market trends 31 May 2016

On 31 May 2016, the second GDP working group meeting was held. Council members discussed current demographic and labour market trends, as well as economic developments in Latvia in general with professor M.Hazans and Bank of Latvia representative I.Kasjanovs.

Fiscal council chairman Jānis Platais participates in the public discussion  30 May 2016

Fiscal council chairman Jānis Platais participates in the public discussion "To save or not to save" at Saeima. More information available in Latvian here.

Fiscal Council Fiscal Risks working group discusses the fiscal risks declaration scope and assessment methodology  12 May 2016

A meeting of the Fiscal Risks Working Group of the Fiscal Discipline Council took place on 11 May 2016. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance. The main items of discussion were the risks included in the Statement of Fiscal Risks and the procedures for their assessment. The possibility of including hitherto undescribed risks was also discussed, as this would provide a more complete understanding of the factors that can negatively affect the budget balance.

Fiscal council first quarter 2016 reports 25 April 2016

In accordance with the Fiscal Discipline Law the Council monitores the implementation of the annual State budget law from the revenues side, taking as the source State Revenue service revenues data and the implementation of the annual State budget law from expenditures side, taking as the source Treasury data. Once in a quarter the Council prepares a quarterly report on the implementation of the revenues and expenditures side and a quarterly report on the resource allocation from "Funds for Unforeseen Events".

Council self-assessment on OECD guidelines for independent fiscal institutions 14 April 2016

The Council carried out a self-assessment at the beginning of 2016, based on Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for independent fiscal institutions. It was concluded that the Council broadly conforms to OECD criteria, but a consistent approach to communication with the media and the public could strengthen the Council’s influence on public debate and an assessment by an external observer could improve the Council’s work.

FDC categorically objects to the implementation of healthcare reforms by increasing the budget deficit 13 April 2016

The Fiscal discipline council (FDC) contends that increasing the budget deficit creates a risk for the sustainability of government finance, as there will be insufficient reserves for when the economy enters a downturn.

Reforms should be implemented without undermining deficit targets 12 April 2016

Today, the Fiscal Discipline Council published its opinion on Latvia's Stability Programme for 2016-2019. This report has been submitted to the Parliament, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Finance, and published on the websites of the Council and the Ministry of Finance.

Meeting with the representatives of Latvian Pensioners federation

Meeting with the representatives of Latvian Pensioners federation 5 April 2016

On 5 April 2016 Fiscal council Chairman Jānis Platais met with the Latvian Pensioners federation Pension committee Chairman Jānis Felsbergs. Meeting presentation is available here in Latvian.

Fiscal council annual report 2015 18 March 2016

Published Fiscal council annual report 2015 (available in Latvian).

Procurement on the survey organisation services  17 March 2016

Announced procurement on the survey organisation services till 1 April 2016.

More information available in Latvian here.

Procurement on the event organisation services 15 March 2016

Announced procurement on the event organisation services till 29 March 2016.

More information available in Latvian here.

Fiscal Discipline Council endorses Ministry of Finance’s macroeconomic forecast 19 February 2016

On 19 February 2016, the Fiscal Discipline Council endorsed the Ministry of Finance's macroeconomic projections that will be used as the basis for drafting Latvia’s Stability Programme 2016-2019. Early review and endorsement of the Ministry of Finance's macroeconomic projections by the Fiscal Council has been agreed to support the effort in the Government in preparation of annual documents - the stability program and the medium-term budget framework.

Fiscal Council opinion available here.

About the Shadows day at the Fiscal council

About the Shadows day at the Fiscal council 10 February 2016

Fiscal discipline council as one of its tasks has also stated public education and knowledge-sharing, which is an essential element of good governance. In Latvia it is now already became as a tradition the so-called "Shadows day". It is a good opportunity to address the audience of secondary school pupils, allowing them to take part in the daily work and get to know professionals who work at the Council. This year Council secretariat has also two "shadows" - Ieva Kruzmane and Eduards Osis.

Fiscal Council discusses the Ministry of Finance macroeconomic forecasts 9 February 2016

On its first meeting Fiscal council presents the diplomas for Mrs Iveta Godaine, Real estate manager for the building in Riga, Smilšu Street 1, for Mrs Agnese Ādmīdiņa, Senior public sector customer manager, for Mr Aivars Mirkšs, Construction administration Construction project manager for their intensive assistance related to the Council office repair and maintanance, incl. help with public procurement procedures and excellently timely performed repairing service.

The Council’s meeting main topic was the endorsement of macroeconomic forecasts prepared by the Ministry of Finance. The Council will publish its opinion on forecasts by the Ministry of Finance no later than on 12 February.

Fiscal Council and the Ministry of Finance signed the Memonrandum of Understanding

Fiscal Council and the Ministry of Finance signed the Memonrandum of Understanding 8 February 2016

On 8 February 2016 Fiscal Council and the Ministry of Finance signed the Memonrandum of Understanding (available here)

Procurement on research and consultation 4 February 2016

Announced procurement on research and consultation till 16 February 2016. More information available in Latvian here.

Future growth of the Latvian economy is hampered by the international outlook as well as lack of structural reforms 1 February 2016

On 29 January 2016 this year's first Fiscal Discipline Council (Council) GDP working group meeting was held. Council members concluded that risks for macroeconomic imbalances are present, which in the future can endanger both economic growth and compliance with the Fiscal discipline law. Namely, wages have been growing faster than productivity for couple of years already, and in case this trend continues to prevail, export competitiveness is going to deteriorate. At the same time, investment sector is still fragile despite showing some growth in the middle of last year after two years of stagnation.

Fiscal Council Fiscal Risks working group discusses the micro-enterprise tax regime and fiscal risks declaration 1 February 2016

A meeting of the Fiscal Risk Working Group of the Fiscal Discipline Council took place on 1 February 2016. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance and the State Revenue Service. The first item on the agenda was a discussion on the micro-enterprise tax regime. The main point of discussion was the social, economic and fiscal impact of this tax regime. The Declaration of Fiscal Risks was also discussed during the meeting by broadening the definition of fiscal risks to gain a more complete understanding of the factors that can negatively affect the budget balance.

The Council concludes that the deficit has increased considerably compared to what was planned 26 January 2016

After reviewing the outturn of the consolidated general budget for 2015, the Council concludes that the deficit has increased considerably, compared both to the plan and the forecast used when preparing the state budget for 2016. 

Procurement on communication services 20 January 2016

Announced procurement on communicatio services till 3 February 2016. More information available in Latvian here.

Verifying compliance with the requirements of Article 11 of the Fiscal Discipline Law 18 December 2015

According to Article 28 Part 7 of the Fiscal Discipline Law (FDL), the Fiscal Discipline Council shall prepare and submit to the Saeima and the Cabinet's attention of fiscal policy matters, where it finds them important to comply with the FDL terms.

According to the Regulation (EU) No 473/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on common provisions for monitoring and assessing draft budgetary plans and ensuring the correction of excessive deficit of the Member States in the euro area (Regulation 473/2013 Article 5 Part 2(a) an independent body shall provide public assessment related to the occurrence of circumstances leading to the activation of the correction mechanism. FDL Article 11 stipulates the requirements regarding the correction mechanism in the national legislation.

The Fiscal Council commences work on the question of government debt 10 December 2015

The question regarding the optimal level of government debt came into sharp focus after the most recent economic crisis (2008-2010). As a result of the crisis, average government debt levels, as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), increased by 26 percentage points in the European Union and by 33 percentage points in Latvia. The Fiscal Discipline Law stipulates that a government debt level below 60% of GDP is one of the four fiscal rules that have to be observed when planning and executing the state budget. Due to the fact that the level of government debt, which was accumulated during the crisis, has yet to be reduced, the Council attempts to raise the question of government debt and assess how the risks of a new economic downturn could impact Latvia’s government debt.

Fiscal Council observes increase of the fiscal risks and forecasts higher deficit level for 2016 2 December 2015

Fiscal Council observes increase of the fiscal risks and forecasts higher deficit level for 2016. The Council press release is available in Latvian.

Fiscal Council chairman Jānis Platais shares his experience with Ukrainian colleagues 27 November 2015

Fiscal Council chairman Jānis Platais shares his experience with Ukrainian colleagues on fiscal discipline issues.

Non-conformity report regarding the Fiscal Security Reserve and the appropriation for payments to the Budget of the European Union  24 November 2015

According to the Law on Fiscal Discipline Article 28 Part 7 the Fiscal Discipline Council shall prepare and submit to the Saeima and the Cabinet's attention of fiscal policy matters, where it finds them important to comply with the FDL terms.

Mrs Elīna Lucka joins the Fiscal council in the position of economist 23 November 2015

Mrs Elīna Lucka joins the Fiscal council in the position of economist. More information available in Latvian.

Procurement on expert evaluation about the macroeconomics indicators' forecasting and output gap assessment 20 November 2015

Announced procurement on expert evaluation about the macroeconomics indicators' forecasting and output gap assessment. More information available in Latvian here.

Fiscal Council: unused options – tax increase for property and capital growth 19 November 2015

Fiscal Council: unused options – tax increase for property and capital growth. Interview with the Fiscal Council chairman Jānis Platais. More information available in Latvian at lsm.lv portal.

Fiscal Council Fiscal Risks working group discusses potential research topics 13 November 2015

In the meeting held on 11 November 2015, the Fiscal Risks working group discussed the cornerstones of the endorsement procedure and the contents of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Council and the Ministry of Finance. A brainstorm on potential research topics in the areas of fiscal policy and fiscal risks was performed. It was decided that the Secretariat should continue working on the Memorandum of Understanding and commence work on the tentatively confirmed research topics. The final decision on research topics will be made during the next Council meeting.

Fiscal Council GDP working group starts work on the Memorandum of Understanding 29 October 2015

In the meeting held on 28 October 2015, the GDP working group discussed the cornerstones of the endorsement procedure, drafting a Memorandum of Understanding between the Council and the Ministry of Finance and the endorsement timetable. Moreover, a brainstorm on potential research topics for the Council was performed. It was decided that the Secretariat should undertake drafting the Memorandum of Understanding, as well as start working on the tentatively confirmed research topics, but the final decision on research topics will be made during the next Council meeting.

Fiscal discipline council is warning: budget surplus could be necessary by law 21 October 2015

Fiscal discipline council is warning: budget surplus could be necessary by law. More information available in Latvian at delfi.lv homepage.

Open doors day at Fiscal council 8 October 2015

Tomorrow, on 9 October everyone is kindly invited at Fiscal council. We would be happy to discuss budget discipline issues. To visit us please call 67083650 or write to info@fdp.gov.lv.

Latest information available here.

Fiscal council is looking for the expert in economics  29 September 2015

Fiscal discipline council is looking for the expert in economics. More information available in Latvian.

The Government's ability to keep to its fiscal targets has deterioritated 25 September 2015

The Council press release is available in Latvian here.

On 25 September 2015 Fiscal council published its regular monitoring report. More information here.

Fiscal council invites to the press conference on the monitoring report main results 24 September 2015

Fiscal council invites to the press conference on the monitoring report main results. The Council invitation is available in Latvian.

Revenues forecasts are endangered by low inflation 18 September 2015

The Council press release is available in Latvian.

Fiscal council: this year budget gap might be twice its size than planned 18 September 2015

Fiscal council: this year budget gap might be twice its size than planned. More information available in Latvian at lsm.lv homepage.

Saeima approves Mr Andžs Ūbelis as the Fiscal council member 3 September 2015

On 3 September 2015 Saeima approves Mr Andžs Ūbelis as the Fiscal council member. More information available in Latvian here.

The working group agrees that all fiscal risks should be measured and more deeply assessed 26 August 2015

On 26 August 2015 the Fiscal risks working group reviewed the Fiscal risks declaration prepared by the Ministry of Finance to calculate the fiscal safety reserve volume.

Price tender for the office room initial decoration repair 26 August 2015

Price tender for the office room initial decoration repair. Application till 7 September 2015. More information available in Latvian here.

Fiscal council: since spring economic situation has been stabilising 11 August 2015

Fiscal council: since spring economic situation has been stabilising. More information available in Latvian at lsm.lv homepage.

The legal regulation is necessary to follow limitatins of the medium-term budget framework law 22 July 2015

On 15 July the Fiscal Discipline Council expressed doubt as to the compliance with procedural norms and recommended the return of the draft law "State Emergency Medical Service's Employees Involved in the Provision of Emergency Medical Services Retirement Pension Law", approved by the Saeima on 8 July, for secondary review.

Price tender for the press conference organisation 22 July 2015

Price tender for the press conference organisation. Application till 30 July 2015. More information available in Latvian here.

Council doubts compliance with the procedure and recommends review of the law 15 July 2015

According to Article 28, Part 7 of the Fiscal discipline law, the Council shall prepare and submit to the Saeima and the Cabinet's attention its opinion on fiscal policy matters if the Council finds them important for compliance with the terms stipulated in the Fiscal discipline law.

The working group agrees that the development of Latvia’s economy can be characterised as generally balanced 9 July 2015

On 9 July 2015 the GDP working group reviewed the most recent Ministry of Finance macroeconomic forecasts that will be used as the basis for drafting Latvia’s state budget for 2016 and the medium-term budget law. The working group agrees with the forecasts, supporting the opinion of the Ministry of Finance that the development of Latvia’s economy can be characterised as generally balanced. Nevertheless, just as in the interim report, the council continues to draw attention to the comparatively sharp constant growth in salaries that can  negatively influence competitiveness.

Jānis Platais: consolidation - hazard or benefit

Jānis Platais: consolidation - hazard or benefit 6 July 2015

Interview with the Fiscal Council chairman Jānis Platais at Neatkarīgā rīta avīze with the journalist Arnis Kluinis available here in Latvian.

Emīls Ķīlis successfully passed his PhD 29 June 2015

Fiscal discipline council colleagues welcome and are proud for Emīls Ķīlis successfully passed PhD! 

Baltic countries fiscal institutions are united in keeping tight fiscal discipline

Baltic countries fiscal institutions are united in keeping tight fiscal discipline  17 June 2015

On 16 June 2015 Riga hosted the first meeting of the Baltic independent fiscal institutions meeting, which was intended to discuss the European fiscal framework and the Baltic States fiscal discipline practice.

Mr Emīls Ķīlis starts his work at the Fiscal council as the fiscal risks expert  1 June 2015

Mr Emīls Ķīlis starts his work at the Fiscal council as the fiscal risks expert. More information available in Latvian.

Fiscal council annual report 2014 13 May 2015

Published Fiscal council annual report 2014 (available in Latvian).

Fiscal consolidation should be considered to ensure achieving government priorities in 2016 State budget 8 May 2015

Fiscal consolidation should be considered to ensure achieving government priorities in 2016 State budget. Fiscal discipline monitoring interim report (opinion) available in English here.

Price tender for delivering the model for macroeconomics  8 May 2015

Price tender for delivering the model for macroeconomics till 25 May 2015. More information here.

Interview at LSM portal with Mr Jānis Platais: we will not manage without consolidation 7 May 2015

Interview at LSM portal with Mr Jānis Platais: we will not manage without consolidation. Original article available in Latvian at LSM website.

Mrs Elīna Veide starts her work at the Fiscal council as the macroeconomics expert  5 May 2015

Mrs Elīna Veide starts her work at the Fiscal council as the macroeconomics expert. More information available in Latvian.

On Mr Inesis Feiferis dismissal from the Council member position 23 April 2015

On Mr Inesis Feiferis dismissal from the Council member position. More information available in Latvian.

Opinion regarding the Latvia Stability Programme 2015-2018 (updated) 14 April 2015

According to the Law on Fiscal Discipline Article 28 Part 7 the Fiscal Discipline Council shall prepare and submit to the Saeima and the Cabinet's attention of fiscal policy matters, where it finds them important to comply with the FDL terms.

Fiscal council vision, mission and values 13 April 2015

Fiscal council vision
A fiscally responsible Latvia, with a sustainable economic development, effective public services and social support.

Government action plan does not have real financial sources 9 April 2015

Fiscal Discipline Council Fiscal Risks Working Group on 31 March 2015 examined the summary of responses submitted by the authorities on the Government Action plan that has been adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers on 10 February 2015. The authorities have submitted the information on the Action plan activities' fiscal impacts. To summarise the submitted replies there is additional funding needed for 2016, estimates nearly 700 million euro (excluding the defence activities). The working group considers that the Government Action Plan has to be balanced with real funds available and, unfortunately, it most likely it will not be implemented unless the necessary funding is found for each of activity.

Fiscal council is looking for the expert in macroeconomics 19 March 2015

Fiscal discipline council is looking for the expert in macroeconomics. More information available in Latvian.

In a simple manner about complex issues: presentations on fiscal discipline monitoring report 10 March 2015

Presentations on fiscal discipline monitoring report are available in Latvian.

Regarding the potential breach of the Fiscal Discipline Law adopting the Amendments to the Law on Micro-enterprise Tax 9 March 2015

According to the Law on Fiscal Discipline Article 28 Part 7 the Fiscal Discipline Council shall prepare and submit to the Saeima and the Cabinet's attention of fiscal policy matters, where it finds them important to comply with the FDL terms.

The working group finds the forecasts reasonable while simultaneously indicating numerous downside risks 5 March 2015

On 11 February 2015 the GDP working group of the Fiscal Discipline Council took note of the presentation of the Ministry of Finance on the macroeconomic situation and forecasts for the 2015-2018 Stability programme. The working group finds the forecasts reasonable; simultaneously indicating numerous downside risks that might impact economic growth and thus the budget execution. Similarly to the recommendation of Fiscal discipline monitoring report of 2014, the Council wants to reiterate that the government needs to work on a strategy for revenue or expenditures measures in case tax collection projections would not be fully met. The GDP working group also appreciates the information from the Ministry of Finance on the issues of tax policy and municipalities.

About the Shadows day at the Fiscal council 17 February 2015

Fiscal discipline council as one of its tasks has also stated public education and knowledge-sharing, which is an essential element of good governance. In Latvia it is now already became as a tradition the so-called "Shadows day". It is a good opportunity to address the audience of secondary school pupils, allowing them to take part in the daily work and get to know professionals who work at the Council. Council secretary has two "shadows" this year - Elza Auguste and Aleksandrs Pētersons

Council invites the Government to review the tax policy development deadline 26 January 2015

The Council press release is available in Latvian.

Experts predict the eurozone economy a slight growth (radio recording) 12 January 2015

Latvia's biggest concern this year could lead to rather than the growth rate, but the rate of inflation, analyses Fiscal Discipline Council Chairman Jānis Platais. And not the fact that inflation might be too high, it may be too low.

Fiscal discipline council in its webpage launches a new page dedicated to research in the fiscal policy field 23 December 2014

In November 2014 Fiscal risks working group in collaboration with external consultants performed a research to assess fiscal risks associated with possible state social insurance special budget expenditure for state pension and social benefit costs exceeding annual budget appropriations. Basing on research results (research performed by SIA RVJ, Elīna Veide), Fiscal discipline council evaluated the necessary Fiscal safety reserve for 2017 in the amount of 0,115% of GDP or 32.8 million euros.

Sweden and Estonia have lessons to teach in fiscal policy 16 December 2014

The Council press release is available in Latvian.

Council points to the fiscal risks and necessity to establish the fiscal reserve 10 December 2014

The Council press release is available in Latvian. Addendum to the Monitoring report in English available here.

In general the Government fulfils the requirements of the Fiscal discipline law regarding the budget of 2015 5 December 2014

The Council press release is available in Latvian. Monitoring report in English available here.

In case of excessive expenditure the Fiscal Council will present a red card to the government

In case of excessive expenditure the Fiscal Council will present a red card to the government 10 November 2014

The interview with the Chairman of the Council Mr Janis Platais is available in Latvian at tvnet.lv.

Fiscal discipline council working groups launched their work

Fiscal discipline council working groups launched their work 16 October 2014

The Council press release is available in Latvian.