The Government sitting expected to vote on an emergency ordinance to amend the tax code has started at 13.35h, as hundreds of people protested in front of the Government offices in Piata Victoriei.
The Mihai Tudose cabinet has approved the amendments to the Tax Code in its sitting on Wednesday. The emergency ordinance includes the transfer of social security and health security contributions from employer to employee and the cut of income tax from 16% to 10%. These provisions, as well as others, have been under heavy criticism from the employers’ associations, trade unions, from President Klaus Iohannis – who said the ‘great tax revolution will turn into a great tax turmoil’ which will lead Romania ‘into an economic and tax adventure with a sad ending.’
PM Mihai Tudose started the sitting by referring to the “excessive inflammation of the public opinion” adding that it is not about the transfer of contributions from employer to employee, but about the profit externalization by multi-national companies. “We would made decisions so that profits are not deducted, to have money for education and health. The multi-national companies are inflamed,” Premier Tudose said at the beginning of the sitting.
He also praised Finance Minister Ionut Misa. “I’ve just found out that some bank branches have allowed employees to leave in order to join the protests outside. If the banks are nervous, I congratulate you, Mr. Misa, you are on the right track. All it is to be done now is for them to pay the taxes,” Tudose added.
Finance Minister Ionut Misa presented the main issues related to the Tax Code amendments, with the promise to offer more details to the media and to those interested during a press conference later in the day. The figures presented are unchanged as compared to the previously presented ones.
In her turn, Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu said that the ministry intends to increase the child-raising allowance and to maintain the level of the contributions for Pension Pillar II this year. “No changes against what I’ve read last week,” she said. Vasilescu has also informed that the Government Decision on increasing the minimum wage will be presented and approved in another sitting, as it still needs the positive opinion from the Social and Economic Council (CES).
Meanwhile, at the call of Cartel Alfa, CNSLR Fratia and BNS trade union confederations, as well as following the call from the ‘Corruption kills’ organisation, about 1,000 people gathered in Piata Victoriei, in front of the Government building, to protest against the expected GEO.
The protesters were wearing banners reading ‘PSD, the red plague’, ‘Down with the liar-government’, ‘Down with the ordinance’, ‘General strike’. Trade union leaders such as Bogdan Hossu and Dumitru Costin were also present during the protest, hotnews.ro informs.
Protests Wednesday evening
About 1,500 people protestted in front of the Gov’t offices Wednesday night against the adoption of the Emergency Ordinance (OUG) regarding the amendments to the justice package laws.
The protesters chanted anti-Gov’t slogans, making noise with drums and vuvuzelas, bearing flags and placards. Moreover, layouts with Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu-Tariceanu dressed in prison uniforms were being strolled throughout the square, at some point being laid on the road and covered in toilet paper.
Subsequently, scores of toilet paper rolls were thrown synchronically towards the Gov’t building.