Save Romania Union (USR) criticized on Thursday the announcement of the Finance Minister Ionut Misa (photo) regarding the implementation of a 2% solidarity fee to be paid by the employers, saying that the coalition’s intention demonstrates the incompetence of the Dragnea-Tudose Government in responsibly managing the public finances.
“The announcement of the Minister Ionut Misa demonstrates the incompetence of the Dragnea-Tudose Government in responsibly managing the public finances. In order to cover the false electoral promises, the PSD-ALDE government applies desperate fiscal measures that trouble the economic and business sector in Romania” stated the USR spokesman Dan Barna, according to a press release issued by the party.
“In his short mandate, Ionut Misa has already succeeded to make the foreign investors go away by making chaotic statements and bad proposals on which he is insisting. He succeeded in causing a stock market crisis through his statements on dismantling the Pension Pillar 2 since he was heard, an idea which we are not sure he waived” stated in his turn Claudiu Nasui, who is an USR member in the Budget-Finance Committee of the Deputies’ Chamber.
USR says that Ionut Misa was the main supporter of the “Split-VAT” mechanism, a unique fiscal experiment in the world which everybody says it will be a disaster. “The same minister lied by saying that he will not increase the fees and the taxes, and later he increased the excises for fuels by 20% from one month to another” reads the press release.
“Now, the same minister tells us he will implement a new 2% fee. That’s all. We don’t know from which source, we don’t know where from. We only know that it will be a 2% fee and it will be called ‘the solidarity fee’. Solidarity with what? Solidarity with the redistribution of the wealth to PSD and their clientele?!” is rhetorically asking the USR MP Claudiu Nasui.
USR finds that it’s revolting that a number of measures announced by PSD in the electoral campaign will be postponed or even abandoned.
“The zero tax for income less than RON 2,000 was postponed, we don’t know until when, and the reduction of the income tax from 16% to 10% and of the contributions from 39% to 35% is necessary to cancel the salary drop as a result of the transfer of social contributions from the employer to the employee. Actually, the promise of increasing salaries in the public sector by 25% from January 1, 2018, is canceled by placing the contributions to the employees. Also, the Pension Law which promised the pension increase by increasing the pension item up to RON 1,775 in the year of 2020 is not included in the next year’s budget” also says the USR press release.
Employers will pay a “2% solidarity fee”, according to the announcement made at Antena 3 on Wednesday evening by the Public Finance Minister Ionut Misa, who mentioned that the fee will be implemented next year. The removal of the income tax for the gross income below RON 2,000 will be also postponed.
“There will also be a 2% fee to be paid by the employer”, Misa announced.
He said later that this is a fee provided by the European Commission, which also applies both in the state system and in the private sector.
“There is a European directive which obliges us to apply a certain percentage to the salary funds” stated the Finance Minister, saying that this fee cannot be eliminated or merged with other categories of contributions.
Misa gave additional explanations on Thursday, saying that the solidarity fee is not a new fee, being paid until today, too, but it will enter into force in its new form starting from January 1, 2018.
“This fee is not an additional fee, I saw speculations saying that the Government will implement a new fee. This contribution existed until today, too. (…) It will be implemented starting from January 1, 2018, it is already in the approval circuit” Misa stated on Thursday at the Parliament.
He mentioned that 90% of the money coming from this fee will be directed to the state budget, covering various budgetary requests, while 10% will be used to support the employees who can encounter problems such as the insolvency of the employer. Misa mentioned that the fee cannot be eliminated, since it will be implemented following a European directive.
The Finance Minister also announced that the income tax will be 10% for everybody, including for those having a salary below RON 2,000.
“The decrease from 16% to 10% will enter into force starting from January 1, 2018, for absolutely all the incomes”, Misa stated.
As for the zero tax for the salaries lower than RON 2,000, Ionut Misa answered: “This measure will not be implemented”.
In the electoral campaign of 2016, PSD announced that starting from January 1, 2018, the income tax will decrease from 16% to 0% for the gross salaries up to RON 2,000, and from 16% to 10% for those having a monthly gross salary higher than RON 2,000.
“Fees necessary to fund healthcare system; new fees not to be introduced”
Fees are necessary to finance the healthcare system, but no new duties are to be introduced, Public Finance Minister Ionut Misa stated on Thursday at the Health Forum event.
“In the governing programme there are priorities in the healthcare area regarding doctors and nurses. Healthcare is an area in which the public pay law has already scheduled an increase. You know that it was a growth on stages until 2022. Healthcare is one of the few areas where these increases will be achieved in 2018. This year there will also be salary increases, only at the level of salary fund to help doctors stay in Romania, to encourage them to offer the best medical treatment, for nurses too. The wage fund will increase in 2018, compared to this year, by 2.9 billion lei. The amount is very consistent,” Misa said.
He mentioned that it is a budget effort that undoubtedly finds its motivation.
“I hope it will respond to a part of the demands of the medical staff. Besides these measures, 600 million euro were allocated for emergency services and we try to improve the conditions for granting medical services. We plan to purchase CT scanners and more medical equipment, at least one to be in each county, even two. Also, 2,200 new ambulances will be purchased to provide quality medical services. (…) We also have to take into account the fees that are needed to finance this system, without taking into account, to avoid speculation, that new duties will be introduced. It is excluded,” the Minister of Public Finance said.