The Social Democratic Party (PSD) will vote against the Chamber of Deputies budget in the plenum session, on grounds of “it being built on strictly electoral interests” <given 2012 will be an electoral year>, Social-Democrat Deputy Nicolae Banicioiu said yesterday, making the point he would not sign the budget in his capacity as questor of the Chamber of Deputies, arguing “this is not an austerity-adjusted budget but one “for the political clientele”. He is unhappy with the fund allocated to Chamber of Deputies Speaker Roberta Anastase going up from RON 115,000 to RON 200,000. “Unless Roberta Anastase cuts down her protocol amount, this is what the prefect and ministers and every director too will do,” Mediafax quoted Banicioiu as saying, adding that the amount does not include money for travels or official receptions. In their turn, social-democrats are discontented with the budget bill stipulating the Lower House spending budget going up 28.5 pc in 2012, from RON 2,077,000 to RON 2,669,000. For his part, Social Democrat Deputy Mircea Draghici says fuel spending going up is due to the Chamber of Deputies leadership preparing for next year’s election, with the money being allotted to electoral campaigns conducted by MPs with the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL). Draghici says that social insurance and assistance expenditures too will increase, 55 pc, adding that the spending involves an increase in the amount going into severance packages to laid-off employees. “Should it be that the Chamber is preparing to lay off a minimum 15 pc of its employees?” Draghici asked rhetorically. The Chamber of Deputies budget and finance Commission on Tuesday passed by majority vote the Chamber’s draft law going up 5 pc year-on-year, to RON 216.5 M. The bill now faces the Senate vote.