The roller-coaster of the pension hike topic. Coalition leaders avoid advancing a precise percentage

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Amid enhancing talks on pension hikes in Romania, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă said in Arad on Friday that pensions would be increased by 15% or by another percent to cover inflation, starting in 2023.

There are though divergent views in the ruling coalition on this topic, with chairmen of PSD and PNL advancing different quotas for these pension hikes.

After president Klaus Iohannis stated a day ago that there should be an increase in pensions to largely compensate for inflation and even advanced a percent of 15%, PM Ciuca explained:

Mr. President linked this percentage to inflation and I affirm that it is necessary to continue to take into account the inflation rate and I believe that pensioners do not deserve to bear the burden of inflation, which is why the percentage can be 15 % or it may be another figure. We will do all these elements of analysis in coalition with the budget figures on the table. We need the budget forecast for the year 2023, we need to see what the nominal value of GDP is next year and in in this way, we can make sure that we come up with decisions that are really supported by the budget and can ensure the compensation of the increase in the prices of food, goods and services“, the Romanian PM said on Friday.

However, the Social Democrats opined that salaries should increase as well.

Asked if pensions could be increased by up to 15% as suggested by Klaus Iohannis, PSD chairman Marcel Ciolacu avoided confirming a percentage but subtly attacked the president.

It is important that all political forces, more recently and the President of Romania, although he does not have this area of ​​responsibility, we agree that pensions must be increased and not only that. Wages must also be increased, the minimum wage to 3,000 lei, income must again be increased with a one-off for certain disadvantaged categories in order to overcome this period of inflation and the energy crisis. There are also discussions at the EU because the vouchers already offered by the Government are also supported by European funds“, said Marcel Ciolacu.

In early September, the Social Democrat minister la Labour, Marius Budai, announced that it will demand in the Coalition the increase of the minimum gross salary to 3,000 lei and the increase of the minimum pension by 10%, to 1,100 lei.

Liberals were annoyed by the social democratic minister’s public statements, arguing they would prefer these topics to be discussed inside the coalition first.

In response, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă said that the possible increases in pensions and salaries depend on the level of collection at the state budget.

PNL first vice-president Rareş Bogdan also said that the authorities must think “extremely seriously” about the percentage by which pensions will be increased, he assured that the percentage of 10% will be exceeded.

The first vice-president of the PNL though stated that there was no discussion at the political level, in the PNL, about a step-by-step increase in pensions, showing himself “disturbed” by the fact that this scenario was advanced without a prior discussion and saying that he does not want to know ” from TV” about such a subject.

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