It should be recalled that the current GMI is € 64, which is a fully municipally funded benefit. 64 euros is the lowest possible limit, but the municipality can increase it at its discretion. Naturally, the GMI is higher than the minimum only in the most sustainable municipalities, for example, in Riga.
Basically human dignity
Every year, the government negotiates the revision of the GMI with the Union of Local Governments of Latvia (LPS), and every year the municipalities request co-financing from the state. When they do not receive it, because social assistance is an autonomous function of municipalities, they refuse to increase the GMI. The argument is always the same – smaller municipalities lack resources. However, in terms of next year, it has been agreed that the GMI will be 80 euros.
However, after the ST ruling, the Minister of Welfare points out that this benefit will definitely exceed 80 euros. “First of all, it will be necessary to carefully read what is written in the opinion of the Constitutional Court, which is a decent income, how big it is, but it will definitely not be 80 euros anymore,” R. Petraviča explains her position. It should be noted that the increase of the GMI will not be a formal measure, as ST has concluded that the main issue is whether the GMI level specified in the Contested Norm complies with the principle of human dignity and socially responsible state. Consequently, the new rule governing GMI will have to comply with these principles.
ST states in the judgment: “In order for everyone to live a life that respects human dignity, the minimum level of social assistance should be that everyone can provide themselves with food, clothing, housing and medical care – all that is necessary to guarantee basic survival for everyone. and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to exercise his or her right to basic education. In addition, social assistance must guarantee the person’s opportunity to participate in social, political and cultural life, thus ensuring that everyone has the status of a full member of society. “
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