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March 27, 2023

Austerity to continue in 2013

Gov’t will postpone again, for 2014, the legal deadline on which it should ensure the financing of the education system by a minimum of 6 per cent of GDP. Salaries and auto tax measures to be applied after approval of next year budget. Expenditures on personnel will be capped. PM Ponta argues gov’t ordinance on updating local taxes does not mean increasing them.

Certain measures concerning salaries and the reimbursement of the auto tax, measures postponed for next year by the Boc Government, can be applied only after the budget is approved in Parliament, something that could take place after January 20, Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced during yesterday’s government meeting, Mediafax informs. He asked the members of government to send to the Finance Ministry the final data needed in order to finalize next year’s budget, pointing out at the same time that he hopes the period of consultations over the creation of the new government will not be long.The Prime Minister offered assurances that the hiking of salaries by 7.5 per cent, a decision that came into force on December 1, is covered because the law stipulates that in January 2013 institutions will have 1/12 of the 2012 budget and thus explained that certain laws whose enforcement was postponed for next year by the Boc Government will be implemented even in the absence of an approved budget.At the same time, expenditures on personnel will be capped next year in all public sector institutions, including the Presidency, Parliament, the Constitutional Court and the Court of Accounts, Ponta stated. The exceptions will be the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry, the government’s priority being to restore salaries to their pre-austerity levels, the Premier announced. “We will respect our promise and will hike the salaries, or better said we will make them whole again, but we won’t open the whole bag because we will be left with it empty by mid-year,” Ponta told the ministers. Ponta stated on Monday that the draft budget gives Parliament next year the same budget it had this year even though the number of MPs grew from 470 to 580 after the general elections. The Presidency and the Government will have smaller budgets for protocol expenditures.

Nevertheless, the government will postpone again, for 2014, the legal deadline on which it should ensure the financing of the education system by a minimum of 6 per cent of GDP, an expenditure level that was never reached since the measure was introduced by the education law. On the other hand, according to an emergency ordinance drafted by the Public Finance Ministry, next year public sector salaries will remain at the level set for December 2012, realitatea.net informs. “There is the risk of not having a governing programme accepted by Parliament on January 1, 2012, (…) and considering the lack of public policies in the economic, fiscal and budget domains accepted in line with the Constitution, the promotion of legislative measures that would stipulate maintaining public sector salaries at their December 2012 level on January 1, 2013, is called for,” the draft reads. Thus, in 2013 the bonuses, indemnities, and monthly compensations for rents and other rights offered on the basis of the laws in force to army and police force employee and to civil servants that have a special statute within the administration of penitentiaries will be established in relation to the calculation basis used in December 2012.

PM Ponta: The ordinance does not increase any local tax

PM Victor Ponta  announced that he will not publish the HG on updating local taxes with the inflation until it is very clearly understood that the government is not increasing these taxes, and it is up to local authorities to update them with the inflation rate, if they wish so. He added that the text of the HG does not clearly mention this, so he will not publish it yet and stressed that the ordinance does not increase any local tax. “Local taxes are not increased, no local tax is increased and by no means will the government do it. If decided by the Local Council and General Council, local authorities may update local taxes with the inflation rate,” Ponta mentioned.In his turn, the Minister of Administration and Interior, Mircea Dusa said yesterday that the government has not increased local taxes and dues, as it only updated their minimum and maximum limits, and it is up to local councils to set the actual values; Dusa is convinced that these will be “decent taxes.” He added that each local authority, depending on the incomes it avails of and the possibilities of each locality, will set “decent taxes, as provided by law.” According to the minister, although these minimum and maximum limits should be updated every 3 years, the last time this happened was 4 years ago.Government sources announced that the Executive approved an increase by up to 16.05 pc of local taxes and dues next year, quoted by Mediafax. In October, the Ministry of Finance made public a draft decree that updates local taxes and dues with the inflation rate for the last three years, meaning they will be upped by maximum 16.05 pc; the act enforces many provisions of a draft ordinance published by the ministry in March, which was not approved by the government at that moment.

No vouchers for meals, gifts or holidays; recruitments remain frozen, still

Next year, too, the government will pass on the meal, gift and holiday vouchers usually offered to its employees, will not grant the reparatory monthly payments to a category of revolutionists, will limit the free train tickets offered to several categories of population, and will maintain in effect the no-recruitment policy of these years. These bonuses and incentives have not been granted since 2009 and the acting government intends to block them next year too, reads an emergency ordinance drafted by the Ministry of Finance. Government sources said that the draft ordinance was approved yesterday during a cabinet meeting.The document also defines the categories of payments and incentives that will not be granted next year, which observes the model enforced these years by previous governments.


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