Orban Government has taken responsibility on the 2020 budget draft law on Monday, with PM announcing in the plenary session of the Parliament that he had accepted several amendments, including the one delaying the enforcement of the special pensions for mayors by one year.
PM Ludovic Orban explained he had chosen the taking responsibility procedure because , “otherwise the budget could not have been adopted”. ” As there are a lot of days off with the winter holidays we could have adopted the budget in Parliament. We are coming after a period with de deficit exceeding 4.4% of the GDP and Romania must give a firm sign to correct the imbalances”, the premier argued.
“We are building the budget on some data that we consider real, not as they did last year. We warned that 5.5 pc is not a real growth. We have an increase close to the EC forecast of 4.1 pc for the budget next year.
We noted an inflation of 3.1%. The anticipated average exchange rate mounts to RON 4.75 for EUR.
We have to deal with some expense rises prompted by the some laws in force. There is an extra of RON 14 billion for the pension law. We’ll also enforce the salary law. We propose a cut in the staff expenditure.
If we don’t increase the allotments for investments we’ll not be able to build a solid economic growth. We increased the sum for investments from RON 44.7 billion up to over RON 500 bln. Investments count for 4.6% of GDP. It is a pretty big effort”.
Orban overruled the information that the budget for healthcare is down. “It’s fake news. The sums are up as against last year both for Education and Healthcare. We want a significant increase of funds for investment projects in schools,” he said.
The PM vowed to respect the commitment to allot 2 pc for Defence, and to give more money for social expenses.
“We also increased from 60pc to 63 pc the funds for local authorities, as a sign to increase their autonomy. We took over 50pc from the social expenditure from the local budgets”.
On the other hand, PSD has challenged the budget bill to the Constitutional Court.
PSD leaders have unanimously decided to challenge the 2020 budget law to the Constitutional Court over the Orban Government’s intention to assume responsibility on the bill before Parliament. PSD will also notify the constitutional judges over the bill amending the GEO 114.
Although CCR had been notified on this issue, the 2020 budget law is not blocked, but there is a CCR ruling pending on the taking responsibility procedure.
“You cannot take responsibility on the budget. In an authentic democracy, it would be the first time. It is a red line that they have crossed. I will notify the CCR over a constitutional issue. Even if we cannot stop this budget, I hope the CCR ruling will prevent other Governments from doing this”, Chamber speaker Marcel Ciolacu argued.
Previously, PSD had filed 35 amendments to the budget bill.
USR chairman Dan Barna has announced on Monday after meeting PM Ludovic Orban that the Government had accepted their amendment filed to the 2020 budget draft law that postpones enforcement of the special pensions for mayors, deputy mayors and county council leaders by at least one year.
Orban Cabinet is to take responsibility on the 2020 budget bill before Parliament on Monday.
“It is an important victory with postponing the special pensions for mayors by at least one year. The special pensions for mayors were to come into force as of January 1, 2020 and they would have become rights for granted, but we managed to get the PM’s go-ahead to delay this deadline,” Barna said.
USR has filed over 60 amendments to the 2020 budget draft law. They referred to cutting funds for the “so-called academies for politicians, to supplementing investments in education and infrastructure, and to increasing the institutional transparency and the digitalisation.
In their turn, the Social Democrats, now in Opposition, have filed 35 amendments to the budget draft law, involving budget expenses of RON 41 billion, which would increase the deficit by over 4 pc of GDP.
Among the amendments filed by PSD there is the one supplementing the budget by RON 6 bln to double the child allowances from RON 150 to RON 300. Another amendment targets more money for mayors, RON 19 bln, but also to allot RON 3.4 bln for the Start Up Nation programme.
PSD wants RON 7 bln for rehabilitating hospitals and RON 2 bln for the irrigation programme.
SocDems have also filed amendment to increase the pupils’ scholarships- RON 600 million, RON 500 M for the Local Development Programme, RON 900 M for the poultry farmers, RON 260 M for the Honey in schools programme.
PSD wants RON 300 M allotted for the swine project and RON 300 M for supplementing the diesel subsidies for farmers.