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January 31, 2023

Liberals oppose raising officials’ salaries, including President Iohannis’

The National Liberal Party (PNL) supports the rejection in Parliament of the ordinance on increasing officials’ indemnities, PNL Vice-Chairwoman Sulfina Barbu (photo) said on Monday.

“PNL supports the rejection in Parliament of the ordinance on increasing the indemnities for those 48 officials, in order to discuss this matter within the law on public-sector salaries. We consider it appropriate to discuss the pay equally for officials and for the public-sector employees. It is very important to know (…) how much the Romanian economy can afford, in order to increase the salaries of public-sector staff, but it is equally important not to make differentiations between the categories of such employees. Let us also see what salary level may be reached by teachers and doctors. Consequently, if we discuss about dignitaries, we should discuss about all the public-sector apparatus,” Barbu said at the Parliament Palace, before the sitting of the PNL’s Political Bureau.

In her view, “it is not the appropriate time to discuss doubling the MPs’ indemnities as a distinct category of officials,” considering that the citizens’ trust in lawmakers is very low.


Ludovic Orban: ‘We need a serious debate before’  


PNL Prime Vice-President Ludovic Orban says the increasing of salaries for officials is not a sustainable measure and that in no way should it be implemented in the absence of a prior political debate.

The head of the PNL group in the lower Chamber admitted to the fact that ‘Romanian officials, compared to the average salary, are underpaid, but one cannot put the cart before the horse, we need a serious debate before to set the criteria according to responsibilities, work load, quantifiable criteria, not just like that, there times higher salaries for some, double pay for others, 12% for others’.

Orban noted that the Government’s promise that the officials’ pay will be increased by up to 70% was not sustainable and created false hopes.

Asked to comment on the intention of some MPs to donate the difference of money, Ludovic Orban said ‘it does not seem serous’.

Orban noted that the Liberals could not refuse the extra pay as it is set by law, but promise to fight in Parliament for the measure not to be adopted.


Theodor Paleologu: ‘It is inadmissible! Absolutely not acceptable!’


PNL MP Theodor Paleologu said on Monday that the raising of the deputies’ salaries without reducing their number to 300 as Romanians had voted in the 2009 referendum was not acceptable.

‘This discussion (on raising MPs salaries – editor’s note) is totally unbecoming. We could, indeed, be talking about raising the deputies pay if they were 300 in total, as the Romanian people asked us. I don’t often invoke the will of the Romanian people, but this time I think we really should. I mean it is inadmissible! We keep the Parliament with a much too high number of deputies and, in addition, we also want to increase their wages, double them. That is absolutely not acceptable!’ Paleologu said on RFI.

A Romanian deputy’s pay is much lower than the one of a French deputy, but the Romanian MPs ‘really do not deserve more’. Even the current pay is too high considering how little they actually do, Paleologu further said.

‘One could eventually consider raising the pay for deputies but only after decreasing their number to 300 according to the result of the referendum we can all remember. If that condition is not satisfied, it would be an unmatched low down trick, said the Liberal deputy.

The Government ordinance increasing the salaries of selected officials came into force last Saturday. The president, prime-minister, ministers and the heads of the Chambers of Parliament will two times higher monthly wages.

Paleologu also said he had not voted for the Fiscal Code because he had ‘a concern regarding the heritage. He said, in his opinion, the law was ‘a step back’.

‘I did not vote for the Fiscal Code for considerations that pertain to my own concerns, namely that the Fiscal Code no longer includes the exemption from the payment of taxes for listed monuments’ owners. I have a concern about the heritage, the historic monuments and, since it seemed to me that the Code was a step back, I did not vote for it. That is the reason I didn’t’, the PNL MP said in an interview offered to RFI Romania.

‘As for the rest, I will leave that to fiscal specialists, for they are in a better position to discuss it. In my view, I think it would be better to listen to the positions of those who are genuinely concerned in economic activities and set aside political party preoccupations’, the MP also said.

The Fiscal Code was returned by President Klaus Iohannis back to the Parliament where it will be re-discussed during an extraordinary session from 24 to 26 August.


Criminal compliant over officials’ pay rise  


The ‘Cartel ALFA’ National Labour Union Confederation has filed a criminal complaint against the Government over the raising of officials’ pay.

‘It is not a complaint against the Government, but one against the members of the Government who signed the ordinance concerning the 48 officials. The procedure regarding decision-making transparency was not observed. It is an addition to a 2014 ordinance which, under the blanket wage law, sets salaries for 2015. The Government was not entitled to change the law. They are breaking the law in force, they are making an abuse. That’s abuse of power. Our complaint was filed with DNA, the prosecutors will investigate into the case, we have an additional case’, ‘Cartel ALFA’ President Bogdan Hossu said on Antena 3 TV.

The Vice-President of the ‘Cartel ALFA’ Confederation, Liviu Apostoiu, said the situation generated by growing the salaries of officials was completely abnormal, base don the principle ‘let those who already enough have more’.

‘We are saying salaries are completely imbalanced compared to the remuneration of our colleagues operating in the public institutions. Although everybody knows it, they acted exactly in he wrong way. We believe it had been premeditated, as the debate and hints go back to January, if not the end of last year. (…) We have reacted and reminded them that not only theirs are low, but also the baseline wages are very low and, although we had a law produced with  lot of money, they did not want to enforce it’, Liviu Apostoiu told Mediafax.

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