Parliament asks Gov’t to give green light to special pensions for lawmakers

The Joint Standing Bureaus (BPRs) of the two Chambers have decided to ask for the Finance Ministry and Labour Ministry’s consultative opinion on the enforcement guidelines of the special pensions for lawmakers law, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Thursday.

“The methodological guidelines were presented to the Joint Standing Bureaus in order for the BPRs and then the joint plenum to approve them, but we considered it necessary, bearing in mind the inherent risks of lack of coordination with the specialized ministries, to request a consultative opinion from the Finance Ministry and the Labour Ministry, and so we postponed this issue by two weeks,” Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated.

He explained that the BPRs have asked for the relevant ministries’ opinion in order to avoid “a certain laxity of the law being reflected in the methodological guidelines.” “We want to be very careful with the way in which public funds are being spent,” Tariceanu added.

The Senate Speaker was not able to point out whether the special pensions for lawmakers will be offered starting in March, stating that this depends on the decision taken by the BPRs, after the latter receive the relevant ministries’ opinions.

Tariceanu added that the funds that should cover the payment of these special pensions, which have so far been requested by over 400 MPs, are not included in one of Parliament’s special budget chapters, however they will have to be paid in line with the law.

According to the draft enforcement guidelines presented on Thursday, the undue sums paid as age-based retirement indemnities will be recovered in line with the law.
The payment of the indemnity will be made every month by the Lower Chamber and the Senate, on the 15th day of the month, for rights owed for the previous month.
The sums will be paid in cash, directly to the beneficiary, by post or bank transfer.
The basis of calculus for the monthly sums will be issued on a monthly basis and will be sent to the beneficiary by post once the indemnity is paid.

Liviu Dragnea: “It is a law I don’t want to benefit from”

PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Thursday that unless the Romanian pension system is reformed he will resign from Parliament. The Lower Chamber lawmaker expressed his dissatisfaction with the law concerning the lawmakers’ special pensions, saying he will not want to benefit from it if it comes into force.

“I was against it, I didn’t want to put my colleagues in a difficult spot, including those who voted, including those who were outside the room and were asking PSD members to vote, you know this very well. But it is a small form of protest or gesture of mine; I don’t want to benefit from a right that I believe to be prematurely gained,” Dragnea stated at PSD’s central headquarters.

Asked for his opinion on the fact that a Joint Standing Bureaus meeting took place on Thursday and the enforcement guidelines of the special pensions law could be adopted on Monday, Dragnea expressed his dissatisfaction with this situation.

“It is a law that I don’t want to benefit from. (…) Given the fact that there are millions of pensioners that have unjust pensions, I don’t believe it is all right for lawmakers to have these pensions that are not high taken by themselves, but that are high compared to the rest of the pensioners,” Dragnea argued.

He pointed out that he has the same approach in what concerns the salaries of dignitaries too and pleaded for the continuation and finalization of talks on the public sector salary law.

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