Lower Chamber passes law to double child allowances, postpones bills on reducing VAT and repealing special pensions

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Chamber of Deputies, the Romanian Parliament’s lower chamber, has voted on Wednesday the bill that doubles the child allowances, from RON 300 to RON 600, upon a PSD proposal. The bill passed by 179 votes and 29 abstentions despite the Liberals’ opposition. During the vote, PNL MPs withdrew their cards from the voting devices.

Other two high-stakes draft laws, the one reducing the VAT and the one repealing special pensions have been delayed for next year.

However, Finance Minister Florin Citu has warned that the budget deficit would increase in 2020 if the VAT reduction and the doubling child allowances were enforced.

Double child allowances means  a budgetary impact of around RON 6 billion.

PSD deputy Daniel Suciu has asked PNL to vote the draft on doubling child allowances, the same way the Liberals had voted in February to raise the allowances from RON 84 to RON 150, upon an amendment filed by Liberal MP Robert Sighiartău. “I challenge you to vote and to find solutions to increase the child allowances. I hope PNL will not oppose”, Suciu said today.

In retort, Liberal Dan Vâlceanu said: “We are talking about a draft law through which you invented the parliamentary poker. You are proposing to vote for the doubling allowances, after PNL had already proposed to double them this year. The impact back then stood at RON 2 billion. Now, it it three times higher, RON 6 bln. I was expecting a minimum trace of responsibility from you. I ask you, where do you want us to take this money from?”

The Parliament voted for the increase of the child allowances from RON 84 to RON 150 during a heated plenary session in February this year. The amendment that doubled child allowances in Romania from RON 84 to RON 150 has been filed by Liberal deputy Robert Sighiartău and has passed by 123 votes to 119, which set the Social Democrat Party on fire.

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