LFMI’s study on migration policy

LFMI is of the opinion that Lithuanian government institutions should aim at creating conditions to accelerate the growth of wages in the country rather than at searching an unattainable panacea from migration. It is impossible, argues LFMI, to identify and set a finite list of migration causes as people view and react differently towards the same social, economic, cultural and other circumstances. LFMI points out that only several factors influencing migration decisions are within the competence of the government or can be affected by government-imposed tools.

The Institute proposes the Lithuanian government not to set a political goal to halt emigration by all possible means but rather treat migration as an expression of pursuit of personal happiness. LFMI highlights that migrants point to meagre income and unemployment as the core reason for emigration and that employment regulation at present is especially rigid and meticulous in Lithuania. Drawing on these facts, LFMI recommends the Lithuanian government focusing attention on eliminating economic causes of migration.

Specific means proposed by LFMI are a reduction of personal income tax to 15 percent, elimination of the controversial temporary “social” tax for companies, refraining from levying new taxes, creating conditions for individual, not collective, settlement of employment conditions between employers and employees and easing an overall administrative burden for businesses.

LFMI also calls for a speedier completion of the land restitution process and for reforming territorial planning by granting the owner the primary power to decide how the land will be used, taking into account neighbours interests. These tools would attract investments, argues LFMI, that have been languishing for several years now. In addition to that, the Institute stresses the need to overhaul the Lithuanian education system as it also has affects on migration.

The study will soon appear at LFMI’s website in English.