BUSINESS

Eliminating subsidy could double price of heating in Bucharest this winter

Bucharest General Mayor Sorin Oprescu stated yesterday during a press conference that the price of heating could double in Bucharest after the government decided to eliminate heating subsidies.

“The City Hall alone cannot cover the hole left by the government; we will continue to offer subsidies, we will help out those with very low incomes, but most of the Bucharesters will experience a fairly high hike in their heating bills,” Oprescu pointed out, being quoted by realitatea.net. The Mayor underlined that he currently finds himself in an “impossible situation” because he cannot start to calculate who will receive the subsidy since the government is yet to issue the methodological norms for its decision on eliminating the heating subsidies. “We have to wait and see if we can help out the poor people that earn less than RON 786 per month. If they have a refrigerator and a washing machine we can no longer help them, which is ridiculous,” the Mayor said. Oprescu stated that last year the heating subsidies paid by the City Hall totaled EUR 100 M and this year the City Hall is trying to pay EUR 125 M. The Mayor underlined that the price of a gigacalorie in Bucharest is the highest in Romania, standing at RON 318. 60 per cent of that price represents Elcen’s tariff and 40 per cent RADET’s tariff.

Meanwhile, PSD President Victor Ponta stated on Thursday that he will propose the Social-Liberal Union (USL) to file a motion against the government’s decision to eliminate heating subsidies. Ponta did not point out whether the motion will be a simple motion or a censure motion, stating that the details will be decided following talks with PNL. Ponta explained that the decision to eliminate the heating subsidies will not affect people with high incomes since most of them are no longer using the central heating system, but will affect the people whose incomes are just above RON 800 per month, namely “that middle class embryo that Romania has.”

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