Lithuania: Seimas committee backs linking LRT funding to GDP

The budget and finance committee of the Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, has approved a proposal to link state budget funding for the public broadcaster, Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT), to GDP growth as of 2026, BNS reports. Under the plan, LRT would continue to receive 1% of government income tax revenue and 1.3% of revenue from excise duties, but the tax allocations would not grow faster than the GDP in the previous year. Also, the committee agreed that LRT funding should not fall below the company’s average budget over the past three years. Jonas Staselis, member of the LRT council, warned that the proposed changes would imply a return to state television, signifying a “major blow to Lithuanian democracy.” Meanwhile, LRT’s director general, Monika Garbaciauskaite-Budriene, insisted that the proposed changes would be unconstitutional.