POLITICS

Ruling coalition returns special MP pensions

The ruling coalition decided during a meeting at the PSD headquarters on Tuesday to return to the committees the law introducing special retirement benefit schemes for the members of Parliament.
Liviu Dragnea said the bill would be returned from the plenary session because ‘common-sense’ provisions were needed. He noted that, for example, an MP qualifies for special pension only if he/she served a full 4-year term.
Dragnea added that additional changes would also be operated on top of those requested by President Klaus Iohannis.
‘Tomorrow, in plenary sitting, we will send the draft law back to the committees to be re-discussed. For instance, it doesn’t seem fair o me that an MP should receive a pension bonus with six months served in Parliament’, said Liviu Dragnea.
‘An MP comes to Parliament because he/she is sent here by the citizens in that constituency and they do not send him here for six months, a year, or two years, but four. If an MP is unable to complete his/her term they should not benefit from the pension rise’, Liviu Dragnea said after the meeting of the ruling coalition leaders.
Dragnea noted that they wanted the new law to be as close ‘perhaps to identity, to the model used in the European Parliament’, and that the coalition leaders wanted the Liberals to also attend the debates.
The interim president of PSD also said that, in his opinion, it was unacceptable for an elected official to also cash an MP pension during his/her term in office.
‘We discussed this yesterday in the group and there was an abnormal, in my opinion, situation, where an MP could have been both MP and receive an MP pension. That cannot be accepted. We respect the statute of the member of Parliament, (…) but there has to be a limit. Let’s consider the entire social context in Romania’, Dragnea said, quoted by Agerpres.


Statute Committee declines President Iohannis’ proposal

The Statute Committee of Parliament that completed the report on the request for the re-examination of the draft law on special indemnity for the members of Parliament, on Tuesday adopted a series of changes, including one that the deputies and senators still serving their term in Parliament are not entitled to the special MP pension.
The members of the Committee rejected President Klaus Iohannis’ proposal that the MP ANI rules incompatible should not receive the special pension. On the other hand, the MP convicted of corruption committed as MPs will not get the special pension. If the corruption charges refer to the period when they were not MPs, they still qualify for the special MP retirement benefit.
‘The Committee discussed all elements contained in the president’s re-examination request, some of them were adopted as necessary. This report received a unanimous vote’, said the Chairman of the Statute Committee, Bogdan Niculescu-Duvaz (PSD).
Duvaz, on the other hand, noted that the stipulations on the value o the special pension for the MPs was still the initial one, accounting for 0.55% of the MP indemnity, and would benefit deputies and senators having served from 6 consecutive months up to 3 full terms in office.
A change operated by the Statute Committee, requested by the president, was that the special pension may not be paid top deputies and senators at the same time with the MP indemnity.
The members of the Committee also decided that the MPs convicted of corruption offences committed as MPs would not receive the special pension, Duvaz also said., and added that those convicted of incompatibility would receive the special pension because that is an administrative situation rather than corruption.
The report of the Committee will be voted on I plenary session in Parliament.
On 10 July, President Klaus Iohannis sent back to the Legislative, for re-examination, the stipulation in the Statute of Deputies and Senators on ‘an indemnity for age limit’ to current and former MPs.
‘The age limit indemnity payable to deputies and senators creates confusion on the legal nature of the entitlement. The entitlement introduced by the law sent for promulgation is not based, even in part, on any of the principles for calculating pensions, lacking all connection with the subscriber’s contribution to the social security system’, reads the re-examination request.
The president was saying that ‘the need to re-examine the law is motivated, on the one hand, by the excessive and random character of the new indemnity the deputies and senators would benefit from and, on the other hand, by the fact that this entitlement would go to all MPs who committed corruption offences under the former Criminal Code, and to those whose term was terminated on incompatibility grounds’.
The law was sent back to Parliament in July, when President Klaus Iohannis denounced the new privileges the senators and deputies were trying to give to themselves.

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