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Latvia's social protection expenditure grew 11.5 % in 2018
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    Latvia's social protection expenditure grew 11.5 % in 2018

    RIGA, Nov 21 (LETA) - Last year, Latvia's social protection expenditure increased by 11.5 percent, or EUR 457.9 million, against 2017 to EUR 4.44 billion, the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) informed Thursday. 

    Expenditure on sickness and heath care grew by 20.2 percent to EUR 1.198 billion, on family and children by 9.8 percent to EUR 472.7 million, and on unemployment by 9.7 percent to EUR 193.3 million.

    The steepest expenditure growth was recorded in sickness/ health care. Last year, expenditure on inpatient health care went up by 36.3 percent, reaching EUR 363 million, while expenditure on sickness benefits due to the increase in the average size of sickness benefit to be paid rose by 9.8 percent, reaching EUR 165.1 million.

    The second largest increase was recorded in expenditure on family/children. As of March 1, a supplement to the state family allowance for bringing up two or more children was introduced, and the total expenditure on this allowance grew by 39.8 percent (from EUR 77.9 million in 2017 to EUR 108.8 million in 2018). The rise in the expenditure on family/ children function was also influenced by the increase in the amount of state guaranteed maintenance paid by the Maintenance Guarantee Fund – the total expenditure on maintenance went up by 20.4 percent, reaching EUR 49.6 million.

    In 2018, an upturn of 9.7 percent was recorded in expenditure on benefits for unemployed persons (mainly unemployment benefit and severance pay paid by the employers). Expenditure on unemployment benefits due to the rise in the average size of the unemployment benefit grew by 6.3 percent, reaching EUR 119.9 million, while expenditure on severance pay increased by 35.8 percent, reaching EUR 39 million.

    In 2018, social protection expenditure constituted 15.2 percent of Latvia's gross domestic product (GDP), which is 0.3 percentage points more than in 2017 (14.9 percent). By comparison, in 2017 social protection expenditure in Estonia comprised 16 percent and in Lithuania 15.1 percent of GDP.

    The data on the Latvian social protection expenditure are compiled since 2004 based on the European system of integrated social protection statistics (ESSPROS) methodology. The methodology is aimed at compiling internationally comparable information on expenditure on social protection allocated to state and local government budgets to meet the social protection needs of residents.

    • Published: 21.11.2019 14:15
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