Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca on Monday said that the “Support for Romania” package has a total value of 17.3 billion lei and that approximately 52pct of this value is provided from European funds and 48pct from the state budget.
Prime Minister told a press conference held at the Palace of Parliament that the beneficiaries of the measures intended for the economic sector are the SMEs, the big investors, transporters and the distributors, the ongoing public investments.
“The SMEs, which are facing difficulties because of the regional context, will receive 300 million euros. Thus, SMEs spending more than 15pct on utilities will receive an aid of up to 400,000 euros per company. The programme comes into force on June 1. Investments are the engine of economic growth. We have will earmark a budget of 200 million euros to stimulate investments with a major impact on the economy. And I mean now a state aid of more than one million euros to encourage investments that will lead to regional development, with prospects to continue. The programme will take effect on May 1,” he said.
According to the head of Executive, 300 million lei will be directed to transport companies and distribution companies.
“To transport and distribution companies, affected by the increase in fuel prices, we are providing a subsidy of 0.50 lei/litre of fuel. The beneficiaries will be approximately 4,000 companies. We are also adjusting agreements in the case of such public investments in progress, financed from national and European funds, considering the increase in the price of materials, workforce, transport and equipment. We are securing 5.2 billion lei this year to support public investments, to continue and complete ongoing projects,” said Ciuca.
Unemployed under a furlough scheme will receive 75pct of their salary by the end of the year, starting with May 1, the total value of this programme being 450 million lei. The Kurzarbeit Programme will also continue.
Regarding agriculture, 200 million euros will be allocated for the processing of agricultural products in Romania. Thus, farmers who process agricultural products in the country will benefit from a premium of 10pct of the value of the processed products, starting with June 1. Grants totaling 300 million euros will be awarded and funding agreements will be concluded by June 30.
The minimum wage in agriculture and the food industry will be 3,000 lei, gross, similar to that in the construction sector. It will be approved in Parliament next week.
“The “Unirea” Trade House, which deals with integrating national programmes in agriculture, will receive 100 million euros on August 1, from the state budget,” added the PM.
In the social field, there will be granted vouchers worth a total of one billion euros – 50pct European funds, 50pct funds from the state budget. There will be staple food vouchers with a value of 50 euros, which will be granted every two months to families with at least two children or single parents, with an income of less than 600 lei/month; retirees with an income of less than 1,500 lei/month; persons with a guaranteed minimum income; people with disabilities. The package will take effect on June 1.
Students who receive social scholarships will receive vouchers worth 30 euros for every month when they have courses, to buy food, school supplies and clothes. The total value of the package is 33 million euros.
At the same time, an additional 200 lei is provided for the minimum wage, as a voluntary increase exempt from taxes. The value of meal vouchers will increase by 50pct, from 20.17 lei to 30 lei. Also, the food subsidy for hospitalized patients and institutionalized elderly will be doubled from 11 lei per day to 22 lei per day. More than 3 million people will benefit from this measure.
The rights granted to children in the special protection system, including those with disabilities who are in this system, as well as to mothers in maternity centres, will be increased. The total value of the support package, which will benefit approximately 47,000 children, is approximately 86 million lei. The daily food allowance increases from 12 lei to 16 lei per day, respectively from 16.6 to 22 lei per day, depending on the child’s age.
“The monthly amounts for children and young people in the special protection system for some personal needs increase from 28 lei to 150 lei. The monthly allowance for clothing, footwear and school supplies increases by 58pct annually, the monthly placement allowance from 630 lei to 900 lei and in the case of children with disabilities from 945 lei to 1,350 lei per month,” the prime minister specified.
Regarding the support measures for couples who cannot have children, the number of people who can apply for such programmes will increase from 300 to 5,000 in 2022. The total value of the programme is about 100 million lei.
The young families will be able to benefit from a loan amounting to a maximum of 75,000 lei, 80pct guaranteed by the state, for the payment of expenses for nursery, kindergarten, school, after school, rent payment, advance for the purchase of a house.
Within the National Student Invest Programme, a loan of up to 50,000 lei will be granted, 80pct guaranteed by the state, for tuition fees, publication of books or specialized studies, payment of accommodation in student dormitories.
USRs Nasui: So-called support package pushed by PSD-PNL is a disgrace
USR (Save Romania Union) MP Claudiu Nasui, former Minister of Economy, on Tuesday criticized the measures announced by the governing coalition in the context of the recent wave of price increases, claiming that they will only support “some villains” from PSD (Social Democratic Party) and PNL (National Liberal Party), while a real help to the population would have been a cut in the labour tax.
“The so-called package of support announced by PSD-PNL is a total disgrace that will not support anyone but some” villains from PSD and PNL. The state will continue to take the same measures that it has been doing for 32 years and which don’t work. It will take our money with ten hands and give us back with one,” Nasui wrote on Facebook.
In his opinion, giving social vouchers will not help anyone.
“Let’s just take the social vouchers of 50 euros that will be given every two months. They put the amount for two months so that the people will think it is higher. In fact, we are talking about 4 lei per day (…),” said the former minister.
According to him, the financing of the “Casa Unirea” company means that “famous sinecures are taking another round of financing from our money.”
At the same time, he advised the population not to take loans in the next period, even if the state “stimulates” such an approach through the announced guarantees.
Nasui also criticized the grants provided for companies. “Instead of helping the whole private sector through tax cuts, the state will take from some and give to others. Don’t be fooled, public money will also come from you. Some will receive it, others will give it, that’s the idea,” he explained.
According to the former Minister of Economy, the minimum wage measure will be “a disaster.”
“Only if an employer increases the salary from 2,550 to 2,750, the employee will no longer be charged for 200 lei. Instead of making a simple and clear measure, typically for the Romanian state, we will have an aberration that does not help anyone. If someone now has a salary between 2,750 and 2,550, they will have the interest to quickly reduce it to 2,550. (…) As they want to implement the measure, it will basically be an incentive to reduce your salary,” the USR Deputy explained.
He said that the only “good” measure is to increase the minimum wage in agriculture to 3,000 lei, which, however, is “overshadowed” by the increase in the minimum wage.
The goal of PSD – PNL “is not to help anyone,” but “to continue to parasitize taxpayers’ money, while leaving the impression that it helps Romanians,” the former minister concluded.
“It’s not stupid. It’s a strategy. An impoverished population is easier to manipulate. And they know this better than anyone. If they really wanted to help Romanians, they would have reduced the aberrant taxation of labour. But they only want to help themselves,” the USR deputy also said, according to Agerpres.