Senate chair Liberal leader Florin Citu on Tuesday stated that those who want to renegotiate the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) in order to increase the pensions and have the power to convince the European Commission “should better hurry and leave Romania and go to discuss this,” with the Brussels authorities and then come up with the decision.
The Liberal leader added that he would like to discuss more about jobs and how they can be created, policies that come from the Ministry of Labour.
In this context, the chair of the Senate spoke of the 9.4pct of GDP allocated under PNRR for pensions, emphasizing that the objective of the current government is to increase GDP, not to keep it at the current level.
“Depending on the GDP we are talking about, 9.4pct of the GDP two years ago may not have been enough. 9.4pct of the GDP we presented last year is enough, because last year we paid almost 8pct and the pensions increased. This is why we are in the government, to increase the GDP and not to maintain it. Last year we were able to exceed the estimated economic growth and I see that we have everything that we need to do it again. If we have a decrease in GDP estimated for this year I will take it as a failure of the government to do its job. So we need to be more ambitious, to have greater economic growth,” Citu concluded, according to Agerpres.
PNL has not changed its opinion regarding the legislative draft law regarding the pension and wage system
The president of the Senate, Florin Citu, declared on Tuesday that the party he is heading, PNL (co-ruling National Liberal Party) has not changed its opinion regarding the legislative draft law regarding the pension and wage system, mentioning that it was approved in Government last year, was sent to Parliament and will go through the select committees’ debates.
“It is a draft law that we approved last year in Government, sent to Parliament, it is being discussed, it will go through the committees today. We have not changed our opinion since then until now (…). Seeing as there are talks now regarding the pension reform, the salary form, many of these draft laws we will either approve sooner and will come into effect, or we implement or incorporate them in the new pension and wage system’s reform,” Citu specified.
The liberal leader was asked if PNL will take responsibility in the coalition for supporting this draft law in Parliament, meaning increasing age of retirement and forbidding the cumulation of pension with salary.
Citu specified that the topic will be discussed in the coalition, including PSD (co-ruling Social Democratic Party)’s position towards this topic.
“If they will not support (it), then we will see in the coalition,” Citu said, according to Agerpres.
PNL spokesman Ionut Stroe stated on Tuesday said that the Liberals’ Executive Bureau discussed the ban on cumulation of pensions and salaries, but also on the possibility of retiring at age 70, with an actual decision to be made in the governing coalition which was set to have a meeting later in the day.
“This is an initiative of the Ministry of Labour, which he took in a completely different political context from the current one. It is also the reason why we considered that the wisest thing is to discuss this issue in the governing coalition and make a decision. There is no question at the moment of changing the retirement age or blocking the cumulation of the pension with the salary. After we have the discussion in the coalition and in the government, we will come out with a decision,” said Stroe, after the meeting of the PNL Executive Bureau.
He was asked what was established in the Executive Bureau regarding the law on the cumulation of the pension with the salary and the possibility of retirement at the age of 70.
When you cap prices, there is a risk of shortages
The President of the Senate, Florin Citu considers that a possible capping of food prices involves the risk of shortages and queues.
“I want to see how the proposal [to cap food prices] is justified. It will come in the coalition and there we will make a decision. So far I have not seen this proposal, but I express a point of view of a liberal and a economist: when you cap prices, there is a risk of a shortage and we will see queues,” Citu said in the Senate on Tuesday.
Asked if a zero reduction in VAT could be taken into account, Citu replied: “We as liberals will always support a lean state, with the lowest possible taxes. We have one principle from which we would not want to abdicate. That is to cut taxes for all products. So, if we find that it is appropriate for one product, why would not it be appropriate for all products, not just one and of course a reduction in taxation.”
The Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu considers that capping the price of basic foodstuffs would be a solution for Romania, this measure being applied by other European countries as well. Asked if he would opt for zero VAT on food, Ciolacu said he would discuss it, adding that the solution would not help much.