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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This Fiscal Transparency Evaluation (FTE) paper on the Republic of Lithuania estimated Lithuania’s public sector financial position to take a more comprehensive view of public finances in Lithuania. While Lithuania’s overall assessment is comparable to or better than other EU Member States that have undergone an FTE, there is room for further improvement. While the Lithuanian authorities publish a large volume of fiscal reports, they are somewhat fragmented and not easily comparable. The paper also highlights that fiscal risk analysis and management also meets good or advanced practice in many areas but are slightly weaker than the other pillars of the evaluation. It is recommended to consolidate the present array of fiscal reports into a smaller number of user-friendly reports that improve the consistency and comparability of information, as well as its transparency. The report also provides a more detailed evaluation of Lithuania’s fiscal transparency practices and recommended reform priorities.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the fiscal challenges in Lithuania. Lithuania’s fiscal position has strengthened in recent years. However, medium term challenges are significant given the severe demographic pressures from population aging and net emigration. Lithuania’s net financial worth of the general government is relatively strong compared with other countries in the region although contingent liabilities from the pension system are sizable. The recent reform of the pension system will help make the system more fiscally sustainable. Upcoming reforms should be carefully designed, considering their trade-offs, to ensure social sustainability; reduce old-age poverty; and limit adverse impact on labor supply and informality.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses the main characteristics and causes of Lithuania’s inequality differentials relative to peers, and suggests policies that may reduce them. Although Lithuania has recovered well from the 2008–09 crisis and developmental indicators look reasonably good, it features one of the highest levels of income inequality in the European Union. Low living standards, modest public expenditure on social protection, limited tax progressivity, and high income volatility are the main causes of income inequality. More recently, Lithuania has taken some moderate steps to address income inequality and to improve the condition of low-wage earners through large minimum wage hikes.
Mr. David Coady and Ms. Nan Geng
This paper reviews public expenditure in Lithuania to identify areas where deeper structural reforms may be warranted to improve spending efficiency and contain future spending pressures. The analysis benchmarks spending in Lithuania against other European countries focusing on spending levels, spending composition, and spending outcomes, and for both economic and functional spending classifications. While recent expenditure consolidation efforts have kept public spending among the lowest in Europe, a transition from broad-based measures to more structural measures will be required: to ensure that low spending levels remain sustainable, to address poor social outcomes such as high inequality and poor health and education outcomes, and to efficiently and equitably contain spending pressures arising from an ageing population.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper reviews public expenditure in Lithuania with a view to identify areas for which deeper reforms may be warranted to improve spending efficiency and contain future spending pressures. The paper benchmarks spending levels and spending composition in Lithuania against those in other European countries. The 31 European countries covered in the benchmarking exercise include the EU-28 plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. Reflecting the tendency for public spending to increase with income, Lithuania’s spending as a share of GDP is compared with the European Union average spending controlling for GDP per capita. The paper also tries to assess spending relative to outcomes to get a sense of spending efficiency.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on sustainability of public finances and low inflation in Lithuania. Lithuania aims to adopt the euro in 2015. Over the medium term, inflation in Lithuania will likely run somewhat higher than in the euro area on average, but this will be driven by continuing income convergence. The long-term inflation track record is favorable, and Lithuania has demonstrated the ability to deliver adjustment when needed without recourse to exchange rate depreciation. The benign outlook for public finances and inflation is contingent on historical patterns of economic policymaking and private sector behavior remaining in place after euro adoption.
Ms. Nan Geng
This paper reviews Lithuania’s fiscal consolidation since 2009, assesses the contribution of revenue and expenditure to the consolidation, evaluates the quality of measures, and draws lessons for the future. It finds that, despite having the lowest revenue-to-GDP ratio in the EU, Lithuania’s fiscal adjustment has so far relied mainly on expenditure measures, with the quality of measures deteriorating over time. The analysis also suggests that Lithuania’s tax system, in comparison with other EU countries and regional peers, is skewed toward labor and consumption taxes, and plays a more limited role in income redistribution, especially in the upper income brackets. The paper argues therefore that there is ample scope to implement high quality revenue measures in order to complete the fiscal adjustment in the medium term in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper discusses Lithuania’s efforts towards a sustainable and inclusive consolidation. Lithuania has implemented fiscal measures amounting to 17 percent of GDP during 2009–2012, about half of which were frontloaded in 2009. The report shows that Lithuania’s tax system, in comparison with other European Union member countries, is skewed toward labor and consumption taxes and plays a more limited role in income redistribution, especially in the upper-income brackets. It is highlighted that the country’s fiscal adjustment since 2009 has relied mainly on expenditure measures.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Moldova was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country. It is based on the information available at the time it was completed on September 17, 2012. The views expressed in this document are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the government of the Republic of Moldova or the Executive Board of the IMF.