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March 29, 2023

PNL to ask Ombudsman to raise constitutionality challenge against Fiscal Code amendments, Orban announces

National Liberal Party (PNL) President Ludovic Orban announced on Saturday that next week the party will ask the Ombudsman to raise a constitutionality challenge against the way the Fiscal Code was amended, namely via a simple ordinance which was recently adopted and which forces employers to pay the CAS and CASS contributions calculated at the level of a minimum wage for employees with part-time contracts. Orban also called on businessmen to attack the new fiscal measures in court.

Ludovic Orban pointed out, at a press conference in Arad, that this week the party will ask the Ombudsman “to raise a constitutionality challenge” following the adoption of fiscal measures via simple ordinance.

“It’s true that, through the law empowering the Government, the Government received the right to issue legislative acts with the value of law in the fiscal field, but the Fiscal Code is an organic law; according to the Constitution, an organic law cannot be modified through simple ordinance and can only be modified through emergency ordinance, but the Government did not adopt an emergency ordinance because had it done so it would have had to convene Parliament. Instead, it adopted a simple ordinance, namely a legislative act with a lower rank. We’ll ask the Ombudsman to raise an exception of unconstitutionality at the Constitutional Court,” Orban said.

He added he encourages companies to attack the latest fiscal measures in court.

“We call on all businessmen to attack these measures in court, these taxes, and during the trial to invoke exceptions of unconstitutionality, because they will surely win,” the PNL leader said.

He considers that “the Government hasn’t read the Fiscal Code either; according to it, if you introduce modifications that lead to the hiking of taxes, of contributions, these measures must come into force on January 1, certainly not on August 1.”

Ludovic Orban says that “PSD made a mockery out of people during the elections campaign, when it paraded in sheep clothes, promising the Moon in the sky, telling a cock and bull story, but after it was elected, at Tudose’s swearing in, it took of the sheep clothes and revealed its true face, the face of a wolf hungry for money, money fleeced from those who are working, from those who are creating added value and from the deserving.”

“The Government has put its hands in the companies’ pockets, forcing them to pay pension and healthcare contributions at the level of the gross minimum wage for employees who have part-time contracts too. (…) We won’t be able to accept any of the fiscal aberrations included in the governing platform, not the turnover tax, not the solidarity tax, not the introduction of the household tax, not the elimination or nationalisation of Pensions Pillar II, not the introduction of the turnover tax of 1 percent for companies in the energy and communications sectors. Likewise, we categorically oppose the system of introducing a separate account for the payment of VAT and the artificial hiking of the minimum wage to RON 2,000,” Orban said.

The Liberal leader claims that the hiking of the minimum wage will lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, through the bankrupting of companies or their relocation in countries where the labour force is cheaper.

“The Government is adopting measures that are a public danger for the economy, such as the minimum wage of RON 2,000. In our calculations, approximately 450,000 – 500,000 jobs will disappear in Romania. (…) At this hour, I believe there are 1,100,000 people on a minimum wage; if the minimum wage is artificially hiked, more than half of the companies will lose their profitability and those who work in those companies will lose their jobs,” Orban said.

The PNL President also criticised the introduction of a separate account for VAT.

“The separate account for the payment of VAT means that companies will finance the state. That the state will immobilise the financial resources related to the VAT in a special account that the Finances could tap into whenever they want, being set to return the VAT when the civil servants feel like it. In short, it’s a form through which companies are deprived of a part of the money they could use to develop,” Orban said.

The PNL leader considers that “the Government has started the programme of getting money out of stone” and is adopting decisions that will have a major impact on the economy.

Ludovic Orban was in Arad, where he met the leaders of the party’s county branch, mayors and party members, and where he took part in several local events, such as the Days of the City of Ineu. On Sunday, Orban was set to attend the Girls’ Fair on Gaina Mountain.

Last Thursday, the Government adopted an ordinance that forces employers to pay CAS and CASS contributions at the level of the minimum wage (RON 1,450 today) for part-time employees, regardless of whether their actual wage falls below the level of the minimum wage. Pupils, students and pensioners are exempted from the provisions.

“We will debate a legislative act that has been highly discussed lately, which implements the payment of CAS and CASS on the employer’s part at the level of the minimum wage for part-time employees. In fact, it had become a practice – and it is a practice today too – for employees to be employed on part-time – four hours, five hours, two hours – and the difference up to the minimum wage to be paid in cash, unregistered, evading the state,” the Premier stated at the start of the Government meeting.

Mihai Tudose pointed out that students, pensioners and pupils will be exempted from the provisions of the legislative act. Also exempted are apprentices up to 18 years of age, persons with disabilities who are legally entitled to work less than 8 hour a day, and those who obtain incomes from several labour contracts, one of which is a full-time contract.

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