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Lithuania unveils tax, social security reform worth 500m euros

Staff Writer |
The Lithuanian government on Friday unveiled a tax and social security system reform plan, promising up to 500 million euros ($563.8 million) to tackle poverty, help pensioners and children.

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The plan presented by Lithuania's technocratic government is to reform the country's tax system, with the measures costing 483 million euros to public finances next year.

"We plan additional 252 million euros for pensions, 193 million euros for children and families with low income, 38 million euros for other support," Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis told a local press conference.

Skvernelis emphasized no new taxes would be implemented next year.

Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka didn't elaborate on the sources of additional funding for social security, but ensured Lithuania's commitments for financial discipline wouldn't be violated.

"All proposals will be based on real numbers," Sapoka told the conference.

He expects additional revenue for the country's budget from removing some of "socially unfair" tax exemptions, improved tax administration and economic growth.

The tax reform plan includes proposal to increase the maximum monthly tax-exempt income amount, equaling it to a minimum wage. The government proposes a one-year tax holiday for small companies and individuals starting a business.

The reform would set a social security tax ceiling, removing value-added tax exemptions for hotels, equaling income tax rates for different activities.

The tax system and social security reform plan will undergo discussions at the country's parliament and is expected to be approved later this fall.

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