Parliamentary Speaker Loreta Graužinienė doubts the promises made by Finance Minister Rasa Budbergytė that Lithuania will have a balanced budget in 2017. In Graužinienė's opinion, the government cannot cut the deficit because of the need to increase social benefits.

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Loreta Graužinienė
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

"Before budgets are submitted every year, there are often statements about balancing it and our ambitions to have stable finances. However, I truly doubt whether we will be able to do this, as we need to consider the social status of the people of Lithuania and cannot leave them without increased social benefits, pensions or wages," the parliamentary speaker told Žinių Radijas on Wednesday morning.

She also said that the plans to balance the 2017 budget would be undermined by the need to raise defence funding.

"There is the agreement among political parties, and the president has restated the importance of increasing funding for the defence system. This means additional money that does not come from nowhere, so I think that the budget will remain in deficit. However, it will be within the boundaries envisaged by the law and the fiscal discipline law," she added.

After meeting with the Labour Party's political group on Monday, Budbergytė stated she would seek to balance the government budget in 2017 so that spending does not exceed revenue.

BNS
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