POLITICS

Senate adopts Dragnea Law that cancels 102 non-fiscal taxes, including TV and radio licence taxes

The Senate adopted on Monday the bill tabled by several PSD MPs, including Liviu Dragnea (photo), which cancels 102 non-fiscal taxes. Earlier that afternoon, the bill had been debated within the Senate’s Budget Commission, the latter issuing a favourable report.

“The main problem Romanians have is the diabolically high number of taxes they have to pay. The value of many taxes fails to cover the costs [of collecting them], showing the state’s lack of confidence in citizens, its intention to humiliate them. Today, the counter is a place of humiliation. Romanians need an extra vacation to be able to schedule the paying of these taxes made-up throughout the year. We can cut a lot of red tape by eliminating these taxes,” Liviu Dragnea said when defending his bill before the Senate.

PNL Senator Teodor Atanansiu attacked the rapidity with which the bill passed through the Senate and asked for the bill to be put up for public consultation for a period of 30 days.

“After three and a half years of Ponta governance, PSD has found the solution for Romania. A Liberal solution, the elimination of taxes. PNL’s problem is that PSD, being a left-wing party, hasn’t understood the method of implementing this elimination of taxes. (…) I suggest we leave the law up for public consultation for 30 days. The Commission should debate it seriously, then we’ll return with it within the plenum,” Atanasiu said.

Atanasiu’s proposal was backed by Ion Popa, leader of PNL Senators. Ion Popa announced that the Liberal Senators would vote against the bill if the proposal is rejected. The postponement proposal was rejected with 83 votes in favour and 24 against.

ALDE Senator Varujan Vosganian said the bill should be adopted in the Senate and put up for public consultation until it is adopted by the Lower Chamber too, the decisive Chamber.

“The fact that various parliamentary groups of different ideological orientations are talking about Liberal values should not surprise us. In a certain way, we are all Liberals. I welcome this harmony centred on Liberal values. The idea that we have to allow for a period of time… in this case I find it a redundancy and a political whim rather than a solid argument. I propose we vote the law in the Senate, send it to the Lower Chamber, with plenty of time left in which to publicly debate it. Let’s give a signal that we are preoccupied with unburdening the population from taxes, I propose we give a political signal for this removal of taxes,” Vosganian argued.

Moreover, ALDE Senator Daniel Barbu, his colleague, said that it is up to public authorities alone to put bills up for public consultation.

Mihai Fifor, leader of PSD Senators, asked for the bill to be put up for vote, a request accepted through a vote.

The bill was adopted in the Senate with 89 votes in favour, 1 abstention and 17 votes against.

PSD’s bill was filed in Parliament just a week ago.

The list of 102 taxes to be eliminated includes the environment tax for auto vehicles, 33 consular and citizenship taxes, 20 Trade Registry taxes, the television and radio licence taxes, the extra tax on passport, 22 taxes that have to be paid when modifying documents, 13 extrajudicial stamp taxes and the taxes on recreational/sport fishing permits.

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