Case has been initiated regarding the norms stipulating the minimum income threshold and the period for reviewing it
On 22 August 2022, the 2nd Panel of the Constitutional Court initiated a case “On Compliance of Section 33, Paragraph One of the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance and Section 22, Paragraphs Two and Three of the Law On Social Security with Article 1 and Article 109 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia”.
The contested norms
Section 33, Paragraph One of the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance stipulates that the guaranteed minimum income threshold is EUR 109 for the first or only person in the household and EUR 76 for the other persons in the household.
Section 22, Paragraphs Two and Three of the Law On Social Security provides for that the minimum income threshold shall not be lower than EUR 109. Whereas, Paragraph Three of the Article stipulates that the minimum income thresholds shall be reviewed at the same time at least every three years.
Norms with a higher legal force
Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia (hereinafter referred to as — the Satversme): “Latvia is an independent democratic republic.”
Article 109 of the Satversme: “Everyone has the right to social security in old age, for work disability, for unemployment and in other cases as provided by law.”
The facts of the case
The case has been initiated on the basis of an application submitted by twenty Members of the Saeima. In the present application, the applicants contest the legal norms adopted by the legislator following the judgement in Case No. 2019-24-03 and No. 2019-25-03. These norms set the minimum income threshold, as well as minimum review period for such a threshold. The applicants point out that, by adopting the contested norms, the legislator has not complied with the principle of good legislation, as it has not taken into account the conclusions on the legislator’s obligations when establishing minimum income thresholds in the judgements in Case No. 2019‑24‑03 and Case No. 2019‑25‑03. The application also challenges the norm that stipulates the period of review of minimum income thresholds, which has not been assessed by the Constitutional Court so far.
The Constitutional Court has requested the authority which has issued the contested act, i.e., the Saeima, to submit to the Constitutional Court its written reply presenting the facts of the case and legal basis by 24 October 2022.
- The deadline for preparation of the case is 23 January 2023.
The Court shall decide on the procedure and date for hearing the case after the case is prepared.
The decision on initiation of the case is available here.
Press release in PDF is available here.
Linked case: 2022-34-01