Romanian budget under fire from all corners

Two and a half month after the deadline, the Romanian government published the 2019 budget draft Thursday night and in less than 24 hours in is already under fire from several directions.

The draft is based on 5.5% GDP growth, an inflation rate of 2.8% and a budget deficit of 2.57% of the GDP, roughly unchanged unemployment rate and an increase in net average salaries to RON 3,085 from RON 2,685 last year. It is based on a 4.67 RON/EUR exchange rate.

The biggest – but not the only – complaint against the budget is that while it does increase the percentage of tax revenues left where they have been collected, it disproportionately increases their responsibilities and financial burdens. The central budget, for example, no longer contains any funding for the 100,000 people with disabilities in the country.

Ludovic Orban, president of the opposition liberal party (PNL) said that the budget revenue figures are “wild guesses”, the 2.8% inflation is “science fiction and the 4.67 RON/EUR exchange rate is “a crass lie”.

Romanian MEP and former prime minister and finance minister Theodor Stolojan (PNL) said that the government has not yet exhausted all avenues in increasing taxes at the detriment of both businesses and the population.

“It is incredible how low a country can fall, but there is in fact no limit. (…) But we do have an example in front of us: that of Venezuela”, Stolojan said in an interview with news portal Ziare.