01.02.2011 MEP Zdanoka's written question on social crisis in Latvia (24.07.2009.)
On 16 June 2009 the Saeima (Parliament) of Latvia approved a new fiscal package for 2009 and 2010 in order to secure the next instalment of the loan from international organisations (including the European Community). The package provides for serious cuts in the social sphere: 10 % cuts in pensions, 70 % cuts in pensions for working pensioners, 50 % cuts in parental allowances for working parents, and cuts in non-taxable minimum income. European Economic Affairs Commissioner Joaquín Almunia welcomed the support for the package from the social partners and said that, in reducing the deficit, social justice should be maintained and the cost of the adjustment should not be allowed to fall on the shoulders of the most deprived parts of the population.
1. Why has the European Commission welcomed measures aimed at reducing the income of a large part of the population whose income is already below the poverty line?
2. Does the European Commission agree that primary measures to combat the economic crisis should include a reduction in government spending on State bureaucracy rather than cuts in the income of pensioners, teachers, doctors and police officers?
3. Will the European Commission put pressure on the Latvian authorities to guarantee the implementation of structural reforms with a view to reducing government spending on State bureaucracy?