RIGA, March 7 (LETA) - The pace of reforms in Latvia accelerated substantially in 2017, according to the European Commission's report on Latvia.The Commission notes that Latvia has achieved certain progress in implementation of the Commission's recommendations in 2017.Latvia has achieved good progress in such areas as budget deficit - which has been kept under check, as well as implementing reforms in higher education, reducing the risk of poverty among children, and others. However, the Commission believes that income inequality is still too high in Latvia. Although the proportion of residents exposed to the risk of poverty decreased to 28.5 percent last year, the average proportion for the EU is 23.5 percent.Latvia has also made some progress in reforming healthcare. Although healthcare budget increased in 2017, it is still 40 percent below the EU average. As to the tax reform, it is still unclear what effect it has had on the national economy of Latvia.Latvia has also achieved some progress with public administration reforms.In the meantime, there has been limited progress with the prevention of corruption and checks into officials' declarations of income, and passing the whistleblower protection bill got delayed.In addition, Latvia's investments in research and development are still insufficient and reforming the minimum wage has been put on hold. Also, pensions in Latvia are growing slower than the national economy.But overall, the Commission points out that reforms in Latvia were implemented much faster in 2017 than in prior years, and reforms commenced in such important areas as tax policy and healthcare last year.
Published: 07.03.2018 16:28
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