The opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) will lodge this week in Parliament a bill under which child allowances will be raised to the level adopted in 2020, namely from 214 lei to 300 lei for children aged 2 to 18, and from 427 lei to 600 lei for children under 2 years old or for those with disabilities, PSD Deputy Chair Gabriela Firea said Tuesday.
“We are lodging this week in Parliament a bill that would have the cynical government to immediately raise the allowances to the level adopted in 2020, namely from 214 lei to 300 lei for children aged 2 to 18 and from 427 to 600 lei for children under 2 years old or for those with disabilities. What more can be said about the decision of those in power to cancel the increases in child allowances? Sad! Citu and Orban promised before the elections that they will phase in in five installments the doubling of the allowances adopted by PSD, they are now announcing cancelling two of them, claiming that they do not have 2.1 billion lei for children, but they allocate under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) 2.9 billion lei for one of their party sponsors. Citu and Orban are stealing over 500 lei from the pocket of every child between 2 and 18 years old and over 1,000 lei from those under two years old or with disabilities,” Firea wrote on Facebook.
She added that the Senate majority of the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Save Romania Union (USR) and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) adopted with amendments a law approving Government Emergency Ordinance 123/2020 under which the Orban government, with then Finance Minister Florin Citu Minister of Finance decided to double child allowances but gradually.
“With the changes made, the governing coalition has cancelled the granting of installments three and four of the original timetable. Specifically, the raise installments provided for July 1, 2021 and January 1, 2022 no longer apply, but there is a promise that all overdue installments (three, four and five) will be awarded from July 1, 2022,” wrote Firea.
She added that Labour Minister Raluca Turcan has just confirmed that the Citu Government has not included in the national budget the money for the second installment of the raise planned for July 1.
The next increase in child allowances will happen on January 1, 2022, as is the amendment to the law adopting the ordinance, PNL national leader Ludovic Orban said on Monday evening.
“The coalition remains committed to doubling the allowances according to the law. We have set to increase the allowances. The next increase will be on January 1, 2022, as is the amendment to the law passing the ordinance passed by the Senate and is being debated in the Chamber of Deputies. (…) If the law is challenged in court, the government must be prepared to issue an emergency ordinance,” Orban said at the end of a meeting of the ruling coalition.
Child allowance increase, apple of discord between ruling coalition and opposition
The increase of child allowances has once again become the subject of a political dispute between the ruling coalition and the Social Democratic Party (PSD). The opposition is outraged that the allowances will not be increased, the coalition says that increasing them is a political decision that needs to be solidly grounded.
PSD strongly condemns the decision of Prime Minister Florin Citu not to grant the second tranche of increase in child allowances, scheduled for July 1, and announces that next week he will submit a bill to Parliament for the immediate rise in allowances to the level set by law as of January 2020.
“PSD strongly condemns the decision of Prime Minister Citu who announced that the Government will not grant the second tranche of increase in child allowances, scheduled for July 1, reads a PSD press release sent on Monday to AGERPRES.
According to the quoted source, according to the draft law already adopted by the Senate majority of PNL-USR-UDMR, two of the 5 tranches promised by PNL before the election campaign will be canceled, respectively tranche 3, scheduled for July 1, 2021, and tranche 4 for January 1, 2022.
According to the draft law to be submitted by PSD, the allowances will increase immediately after adoption from 214 lei to 300 lei for children aged 2 to 18 and from 427 lei to 600 lei for children under 2 years or for those with disabilities, the release also mentioned.
PSD deputy Rasaliu: Governing coalition steals 2.1 billion RON from children’s pockets
Social Democratic Party (PSD) deputy from Brasov, Marian Rasaliu, has claimed, on Monday, in a press release, that the representatives of the governing coalition “are stealing from the children’ pockets” the sums promised as increases for allowances, mentioning that the National Liberal Party (PNL) lied in the electoral campaign when it promised a staggered increase towards doubling them.
“It’s inadmissible that children’s allowances will not increase from July 1! We are practically speaking of a ‘theft’ from children’s pockets! According to the draft law adopted already by the majority in the Senate of the PNL-USR-UDMR [National Liberal Party – Save Romania Union – Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania], two of the five tranches promised by the PNL before the electoral campaign will be canceled, namely tranche 3, provided for July 1, 2021, and tranche 4, for January 1, 2022,” said the PSD deputy, according to the quoted source.
According to him, the governing coalition is thus “stealing” from children’s pockets, the total sum of 2.1 billion RON, money which should have been paid in the July 1, 2021 – July 1, 2022 period.
“Let’s not forget that before the elections in 20202, Citu and Orban lied to the face of parents and children, to whom they promised that they will stagger the doubling of allowances, adopted by the PSD, in five equal semestrial tranches. After they received the vote of many citizens that believed this promise, the Citu Government and the PNL-USR-UDMR majority canceled the tranches children deserved. The duty of a government is to apply the law and take measures to support it financially, not complain that it doesn’t have money and continue cutting,” said Rasaliu.
According to him, PSD will submit in parliament a draft law for the immediate increase of the allowances to the level set by law in January 2020.
According to the draft law which will be submitted, allowances should increase immediately after adoption from 214 to 300 RON for children aged 2 to 18 and from 427 to 600 RON for children under two or those with disabilities.
Senate head Dragu: Child allowance increase – a political decision that needs to be solidly grounded
Increasing child allowances is a political decision that requires a solid foundation on technical figures, and an analysis of state budget revenues and expenditures will be made in mid-July, after six months of budget execution, Senate Chair Anca Dragu said on Monday.
“First of all, we need to have the figures on the table, increasing these benefits costs 2 billion lei. A review of revenues and expenditures of the state budget and the general consolidated budget is usually done after six months of budget execution. So, somewhere in mid-July we should look at the budget figures. We know that economic growth has been above expectations, but we must also see how the revenues fare, how the deficit financing stands, because we are still running a very large deficit, so that the decision must be made with the figures on the table. It’s a political decision, but it must be very well grounded on technical figures,” Dragu explained when asked if the USR PLUS alliance will vote for the increase of the child allowance this summer.
Dragu added that allocations for students’ hot meals could be raised by including as many schools as possible in the pilot program begun in 2016.
“I’d say more than that, that we could increase hot meal allocations, for example. Include more schools in this pilot program started in 2016. Only 150 schools are currently included in this program. The children come to school and they need this meal, they need a balanced, healthy and complete diet that will allow them to study, to perform sports activities over the entire day. I’d like all Romanian schools to be included in this program in the medium term. I know that there are constraints, not necessarily financial, but related to space or even to the possibility of delivering food in certain communities, but we must pursue this goal,” said the Senate head.
Compiled from Agerpres