The budget bill could be made public this week and will be discussed in Parliament early next month, after a meeting with social partners, Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici stated on Antena3 on Sunday.
The budget deficit will not be the one publicly rumoured, of around 5 percent, but half that figure, the Minister said. A series of politicians have stated that the ministry has problems drafting the budget because this year’s deficit stands at approximately 5 percent.
Against this backdrop, Teodorovici said the deficit will fall below 3 percent in 2018, possibly even below the deficit target of 2.97 percent. Its exact value will be known on January 25, when the budget execution data will be made known.
The Ministry pointed out that the budget bill was delayed by the postponing of talks within the Supreme Council of National Defence (CSAT) in December, which “pushed out of schedule” the process of adopting the bill.
Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici stated that the President would have no reason not to promulgate the budget law and that the “tax on greed” is not being considered in its drafting. Teodorovici also announced that the First House programme will be budgeted this year too.
“I believe we won’t reach that point in which the President would block our budget too. (…) I refuse to believe, in a European country that holds the presidency of the Council, so a unique situation in Romania, you would send back to Parliament a budget that Parliament adopted. You have no reason to do that. You have absolutely no reason, except the desire to block something. That’s why I hope… let’s take it step by step, like he very often teaches us, let us all try, not just us, to observe the law and the Constitution and things will be exactly as we have said,” Eugen Orlando Teodorovici stated on Sunday evening on Antena3.
Teodorovici said that the so-called “tax on greed” introduced by Government Emergency Ordinance no.114 does not generate revenues, according to the budget bill, nor will the sums that the energy companies will have to pay, these taxes not being considered in the budget for 2019.
“Talking about the economy, the tax on greed is nil in the budget, the budgeted allocation. It doesn’t foresee any leu. We don’t want to tax. We want to deter the banks from enforcing such high and unjustified interest rates. Same in the energy sector, as a state we stand to lose through those taxes, in the energy area, because the dividends will be lower and, implicitly, as a state I’ll earn less, but this measure is adopted precisely for the economy, for household consumers,” the Finance Minister added.
Eugen Teodorovici said that the budget deficit for 2018 will be below 3 percent, “in the ballpark of 2.9 [percent],” and considering that the budget deficit target for last year was 2.97 percent, the budget deficit will be lower than the target, with the official figures set to be ready at the end of March.
“A deficit of 5 percent is out of the question in 2019. Maybe somewhere toward half the 5 percent figure that some are putting forward,” Teodorovici added.
The Finance Minister also pointed out that the First House programme will be budgeted in 2019 too, but the sum to be earmarked is yet to be established, pointing out that this programme will have a social component.