The Lower Chamber adopted on Wednesday a draft law that approves Government Emergency Ordinance No. 65/2014 and that includes an amendment brought by the National Liberal Party (PNL) stipulating that the child benefit should increase from RON 42 to RON 84.
The draft was adopted with 332 votes in favour and 2 abstentions.
The amendment was filed by PNL MP Cristina Pocora to a draft law approving Government Emergency Ordinance 65/2014 amending and supplementing some pieces of legislation, and was adopted with 98 votes against 77.
The Lower Chamber was the decisive Chamber.
Before the final vote, the MPs approved on Wednesday, with 98 votes in favour and 77 votes against, the PNL amendment filed by PNL MP Cristina Pocora, an amendment stipulating the hiking of the child benefit, a fact that stirred numerous contradictory discussions between PSD and PNL. The amendment had been rejected on Tuesday within the Labour Commission, the PSD MPs pointing out that the Labour Ministry will come up with a proposal on hiking the child benefit.
Alina Gorghiu: “MPs can offer a chance to better living standards”
PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu called the adoption of the draft good news for Romanian families.
“We are talking about more than 3 million and a half children that will benefit from the doubling of the child benefit. I would very much like to be able to bring a little joy to every home. (…) This path should be continued,” said Gorghiu.
On Wednesday, before the Lower Chamber decided at the Liberals’ initiative to double the child benefit, the PNL Co-President issued a message through which she encouraged the MPs to “offer Romanian families a chance to better living standards” by voting the PNL project on hiking the child benefit.
“The Lower Chamber can offer Romanian families a chance to better living standards if it adopts, in the final vote, the law promoted by PNL concerning the hiking of the child benefit. Poverty, population ageing, the significant school dropout rate, are the realities we are facing. The true social danger however is the Ponta Government, because instead of generating and implementing solutions, it chooses, for far too long now, to ignore problems. It is sad that at the helm of the Labour Ministry we have a woman that does not understand that families need support,” Alina Gorghiu wrote on her Facebook page. “I hope PSD will have the decency not to use an older trick – sending the draft back to the commission – in order to get out of the bind. Mr. Ponta always finds explanations for the failures of the government, but indifference toward children is inexcusable! There are 3.7 million children caught in the middle, they should not be sacrificed for political egos!” Alina Gorghiu wrote.
PM Ponta: I think doubling the child benefit is good, yet it costs us RON 1.8 bln annually
Premier Victor Ponta said on Wednesday that “from a strictly Social-Democratic viewpoint,” doubling the child benefit seems a good thing, but he cautioned that the budget impact of such a measure is RON 1.8 bln annually, and those who proposed it did not also point out the sources of financing for the measure.
“A vote was cast today in the Lower Chamber on the doubling of the child benefit for all categories of children. We increased it for 600,000 children from disadvantaged families. (…) As a principle, I say this: we are a Social-Democratic party and the first to rejoice at such a measure. (…) We, the government, issued no opinion, because no one asked us to. We just did our duty and informed the President, and I will also inform the Lower Chamber today. From a Social-Democratic viewpoint it looks like a good thing to me and I endorse it wholeheartedly, but I’d like to point out that it costs us RON 1.8 bln annually. The bad part is that those who conceived the amendment didn’t also tell us where to take the money from, as the Constitution requires (…). It will still be us left scrambling for the money,” Ponta said at the weekly government session.
The Premier added that the financing of such a measure can be ensured in 2015 and next year.
“This year and the next we’ll find [the money], but this means that they want only us to govern, we will definitely find it. I don’t know where they’ll get it from in order to keep it rolling, or where they’ll proceed to implement cuts. Because they were really good at cutting funds,” said the Prime Minister.