Gov’t eyes cuts of bonuses, holiday vouchers and students’ transport subsidies

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The Government is preparing the adoption of an emergency ordinance with cuts on a series of bonuses, subsidies and allowances granted to the public employees, government sources told mass media.

The GEO is to be adopted on Wednesday and is just a first step of the budget cuts already publicly announced by PM Citu.

The Prime Minister announced his colleagues from the National Liberal Party convened for the National Political Bureau on Monday that no holiday vouchers will be granted this year for the employees of the public sector. In 2021 they will be though able to use the vouchers previously granted in 2019 and 2020, which have not been used. The holiday vouchers will be resumed as of 2022 if the budget allows.

According to Digi24, by cutting these holiday vouchers, the budget expenses will be downsized by RON 1.2 billion.

At the same time, bonuses for the employees of the public sector will be capped. For instance, the bonuses for exposure to Covid-19 granted to the employees in the prefect’s offices will be removed, while the meal allowance for certain categories of public employees will be also diminished. The Government’s argument was that some of these public workers received meal allowances equal to two minimum wages. The costs with the meal vouchers would mount to RON 800 million.

The free transport for students will be also restricted, probably by the introduction of a maximum number to which rides are free. Students have already reacted, saying they will stage protests if they lose these free rides.

On Saturday, PM Citu advanced the probability that some bonuses will be cut and he also asked state owned companies to forward restructuring plans, otherwise they will receive no more subsidies.

As for pensions, they will be indexed by inflation starting next year and up to 50% from the real increase of the medium wage. PNL chairman Ludovic Orban announced that pensions will rise as of January 1, 2022.

Child allowances will also remain unchanged this year.

The Romanian PM said that the deficit target assumed by the budget draft law is around 7pc-7.1pc.

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