POLITICS

PSD attacks pensions’ law at Constitutional Court

The decision comes after Lower Chamber adopted the pensions’ law draft on Wednesday evening in the absence of Opposition representatives at the end of a debate lasting approximately 10 hours.

PSD President Victor Ponta announced yesterday that his party will attack the unitary public pensions system’s law at the Constitutional Court within the legal timetable prior to the law being promulgated.
He stated that, apart from asserting that the pensions’ law is unconstitutional, PSD will also come up with a notification against Chamber of Deputies’ Speaker Roberta Anastase, a notification that could be forwarded not only to the Lower Chamber’s Permanent Bureau but also to court.


“We are working on the file concerning Anastase’s frauds. This isn’t the first time when the Lower Chamber vote is subjected to fraud. Last evening (Wednesday evening – editor’s note) Roberta Anastase stated that votes were cast by more than 170 MPs, but relying on TV footage one could count 80 MPs present within the plenum at most. The time will come when Mrs. Anastase will be held accountable for these frauds not only politically but also judicially,” Ponta stated.


The pensions’ law was adopted with 170 votes in favour, 2 votes against and 3 abstentions after the Social-Democrat and Liberal MPs left the room. The debates focused on the law were marred by disputes between ruling coalition and Opposition representatives, with a significant moment being the one in which the MPs expressed their views on the standard retirement age. After voting the same amendment three times, the MPs adopted the variant initially approved by the Senate, namely that according to which the retirement age for both men and women will stand at 65. In this way the MPs have rejected the Labour Commission’s proposal to set the retirement age for women at 63.


The talks focusing on the pension’s point issue also sparked heated debates. PSD left the room before the voting started, asking for the pension’s point to be hiked to 45 per cent of the monthly gross average salary. Backed by Eugen Nicolaescu, deputy leader of the group of Liberal MPs, Mircea Dusa, leader of the group of Social-Democrat MPs, asked for the pensions’ law article that concerns the pension’s point to be voted through roll-call so that everyone could see how each MP voted. The plenum turned down the proposal, with Mircea Toader, leader of the group of Democrat-Liberal MPs, pointing out that electronic voting works. The Liberal MPs left the room in their turn after voting the article that concerns the pension’s point.


SOLDIERS AND POLICE OFFICERS INCLUDED IN UNITARY PENSIONS’ SYSTEM


During the debates the MPs also decided to include active soldiers, police officers and special statute civil servants from within the penitentiary administration system, the national defence, public order and national security domains within the unitary pensions’ system. Liberal MP Mihaita Calimente opined that the new regulations concerning the soldiers’ pensions will throw the social insurances’ system into chaos because the retired soldiers will be paid from a budget to which they have not contributed until now.


Likewise, the Chamber of Deputies decided the persons whose incomes come from copyrights, associated rights, contracts or conventions will be compulsorily insured within the public pensions’ system.


LABOUR MINISTER SAYS PENSIONS WILL DROP NEXT YEAR


Premier Emil Boc took part in the first part of the debates, while Labour Minister Ioan Botis remained within the room until the meeting was over. Botis stated that if pensions are not lowered in 2011 the deficit will reach EUR 3.12 bln.


He pointed out that this deficit should not be covered with loans. The Minister underlined that the number of employees is currently dropping while the number of pensioners is growing. He pointed out that important sources for the pensions’ fund consist of a hike in the number of contributors and a higher decree of collectibility.


The Minister added that currently the pensioner-employee dependency rate stands at 0.89 and that only one third of the 4,700,000 pensioners have made full contributions. “We will have pensions’ fund deficits for many years to come,” the Minister underlined.

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