In the updated draft budget for 2021, the Lithuanian Cabinet of Ministers is proposed to significantly increase funding for the defense sector.
The revised project involves an increase of 53.5 million euros.
Thus, the new document focuses on the protection of the state border and the country’s financial obligations to NATO.
It is proposed to increase military spending to 2.03% of GDP and allocate an additional 20.7 million euros to the Ministry of National Defense. About 14.4 million euros should go to improve the infrastructure of the border checkpoints at Lavoriškės, Šalčininkai and Raigardas. An additional 1.05 million euros will be allocated to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Information about the remaining spending of national money remains closed, because many items of expenditure on military needs, including the maintenance of NATO troops, are very difficult to track.
However, it is worth paying attention to the fact that compared to the April draft, the updated draft budget increases the estimated revenues for all major taxes.
In the updated draft budget, including the European Union and other international financial support, state budget revenues increase by 613.1 million euros, of which 382.4 million euros in value added tax revenue due to higher household consumption and deferred taxes.
In other words, the population of Lithuania as always will pay for the government’s huge military appetites.
It is obvious that it takes a lot of money to maintain the infrastructure of numerous military facilities on the territory of Lithuania in working order, as well as to provide service members. At the same time, the government spends huge amounts of money on the purchase of military equipment, various types of weapons and equipment, training of officers, and so on, without even trying to develop its own military-industrial complex.
The political elite of Lithuania is not afraid of all these expenses. On the contrary, some officials are even ready to increase such expenses in several times. For example, in 2020, Donald Trump talked about the possibility of transferring 9 thousand American troops from Germany to the Baltic States.
Almost immediately, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda assured Washington that he would force his country’s government, if necessary, to increase budget spending on military needs from 2% of GDP to 2.5%.
It turns out that the local population does not seem to officially pay for the new American base in Lithuania, but if you look at the growing taxes and accounts in other, non-defense budget expenditures, it turns out that they are paying. Of course, no one in the Lithuanian government is in a hurry to count these figures and publish them on purpose in the leading mass media.
It is simple. Loyalty to NATO is a guarantee that neither Washington nor Brussels will criticize the current authorities in Lithuania. In Western Europe and the United States, no one will talk about corruption, the presence of incriminating evidence on top government officials or violations of the principles of freedom of speech.
In other words, the local population of Lithuania will tolerate and pay. Politicians in the government of the country know not to anger their Western patrons, because they can end their political career very quickly.