Speaking at a Delfi conference, Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (LPGU) Chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis has news for citizens, who receive benefits from the state. According to him, the current regulations need to change.
Ramūnas Karbauskis
Ramūnas Karbauskis
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

“Firstly we have to encourage people to work and earn money. Thus we would have a support system, particularly for people who are not inclined to work, “tying” it with the idea that any support requires work. Today the system works somewhat, but not fully,” noted Karbauskis.

He reminded that in municipalities and districts, those wishing to obtain benefits payments have to work even now, but added that the model needs improving.

“European policy in this case is a little difficult to understand for me in regard to how it is implemented in most states, where the system works against our society, creating an image that you can opt to not work and live almost like if you were employed. We need to seek solutions and I hope that the EU itself will begin to realise sooner or later that it is necessary to review support systems so that we are not nurturing generations of people who simply live off of benefits. They never worked and do not intend to work,” the politician said.

According to Karbauskis, a part of the refugees arriving in Europe seek not to work, but to receive larger benefits payments.

“I want to say that we need to seek that those who obtain benefits payments, but are able to work, would have all the opportunities to work toward receiving the payments. However at the same time there are many in our country who simply cannot work due to disability and other reasons, we are not talking about them here. We have to set up the system in a way that they would receive as much support as possible and would feel as full-fledged citizens of this country,” Karbauskis explained.

News for families

Speaking of motherhood and fatherhood payments, R. Karbauskis explained that the sort of model employed in Poland, where payments are provided based on the number of children, not linked to the tax system, would create a different problem in Lithuania.

“Families that are not oriented to work, more toward social payments, begin to seek having more children to increase benefits payments. This is completely unrelated with the children’s quality of life and such. We need to find a model that would help resolve the problems we have such as social inequality,” mused the politician, noting that likely the most suitable model for Lithuania is the French one, where the state seeks to provide aid “through taxes”.

“Otherwise we will have both good and very bad situations, of which we will have far more, if we provide funds based on the number of children, not associating it with taxes,” explained R. Karbauskis.

Encouraging birth rates based on tax policy

While he admitted he is no specialist in the topic, Karbauskis stressed that we need to seek a model that would encourage birth rates without causing extra problems.

“In the regions some people strove to have more children just to get more benefits payments. Afterwards it is spent on alcohol or wasted otherwise. This does not produce the intended results,” the LPGU leader spoke on encouraging birth rates.

His party points to raising the tax-free income size for working people and those who are raising two or more children. But asked what sort of progression can be expected, Karbauskis was not ready to discuss detailed numbers.

“However the answer is the same – we are thinking, how to encourage birth rates based on tax policy,” he said.

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