PM Victor Ponta addressed, on his Facebook page, ten questions to the political parties, just before the parliament’s extraordinary session dedicated to the Tax Code review. “As Premier who has conceived and promoted the new Tax Code” he asks the parties to answer, as all parliamentary parties have the duty to reply to the ten legitimate questions.
1. Is it the new Tax Code better than the one in force at the moment? Does it help Romanian economy to develop? (…) If they don’t agree with these statements, why do they vote ‘yes’?
2. When they unanimously voted for the new Tax Code, did they know what was in for vote? Did they read the document; did they understand the provisions and the consequences? If yes, why some of the parties said after the vote that the Tax Code is irresponsible, unsustainable?
3. Why did the PNL/PDL representatives submit an amendment regarding the cut of VAT to 19% (instead 20% – the government’s proposal) and conditioned the vote on this amendment? Did they have impact calculations or was it a populist move? Why have they asked the government to go back to the first option of 20%?
4. What was the estimated impact of increasing the VAT from 19% to 24% and of the salary cuts in 2010? Which parties consider PDL’s vision at the time was correct? (…)
5. What do the parties say – should Romania renegotiate the ESA budget deficit target lower than 1% of GDP according to the Medium Term Objective? Or should it target ESA budgetary deficits around 2% of GDP and accelerate the convergence process against the EU 28 average?
6. Why would Romania become unsustainable with a 2-2.5% of GDP deficit and a gross governmental debt of 40% of GDP, while Spain has a budgetary deficit of 3.7% of GDP and a debt of 103% of GDP (…) (and other countries as well – our note) and is sustainable?
7. Are the parties aware that 2014 was the first year in the last 12 when Romania had a positive primary budgetary balance of 0.1% of GDP? Do we need austerity or decisions to enhance economic development and bring new jobs?
8. Are the parties aware that in 2014 Romania has reached the structural deficit target of 1% of GDP? (…) Should we maintain this situation or should we spend more money for development and to increase the standard of living?
9. Do the parties want a new Stand By agreement with the IMF, knowing Romania meets the criteria for another type of agreement – a flexible Line of Credit (having similar macro-economic conditions as Poland)?
10. Do the parties believe the current economic development, uninterrupted since 2012, the decrease in unemployment and increase in the purchase power and standard of living are affected by the political scandals having as pretext the economic decisions? And by legislative inconsistencies such as vote for or against the Tax Code? (…)
In the end, PM Ponta called on the parties to answer these questions to the citizens. “The one not answering (if there will be someone) is obviously incapable in taking decisions about economy and about everyday life of this country!”
The Parliament convenes in extraordinary session this week to re-examine the new Tax Code after President Klaus Iohannis sent it back to Parliament on July 17, calling for a “thorough analysis” of its effects on the consolidated budget.
The Senate will be the first chamber to analyze the new draft and then it will pass it to the Chamber of Deputies, which is the decisional body.
The Senate’s committees are scheduled to debate the amendments on Monday morning, while the plenum session is due at 3 p.m.