Opposition rains amendments on 2021 budget

The opposition will file thousands of amendments to the country’s draft 2021 budget law, demanding that the government increase the child allowance, pensions and the salaries of public-sector employees, the Vice-President of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Sorin Grindeanu announced on Sunday (via Maszol).

The government has officially approved the 2021 budget law, which means the bill will enter parliament for debate. It was passed with minor changes to its original form, but the opposition party of PSD has a different view on the matter. The number of amendments related to Temes/Timis County alone is close to 200, Grindeanu highlighted.

The party is also pushing the government to include the creation of 200 community health centers and 50 specialized healthcare centers, a proposal that was part of PSD’s election campaign.

Meanwhile, the minimum entitlement should increase from RON 800 to RON 984 for those with less than 10 qualifying years and to RON 1,107 for those with more than 10 qualifying years, Grindeanu said, as cited by Romanian news outlet G4Media. Also, the value of pension points would increase in two phases in 2021: to RON 1,775 (currently RON 1,442) from March 1 and to RON 1,875 from September 1, he emphasized, adding that families with newborn children should receive a one-time allowance worth EUR 400.

The Social Democrats would additionally like to see more money flowing into areas such as school renovation, logistics for online education, the Startup Nation program and the national car fleet renewal program called Rabla or Rabla Plus.

The Fiscal Council agrees with the majority of the forecasts in the draft 2021 budget law but warns that the government needs to boost revenues through better tax collection. For this year, the government foresees a 7.16 percent deficit and a scenario of 4.3 percent GDP growth.

As in most countries, the Romanian Parliament should have passed this year’s budget by the end of 2020, but general elections in early December got in the way.

Title image: Sorin Grindeanu, vice-president of PSD. Image source: Grindeanu’s official Facebook page

Author: István Fekete