Almost three months late, the Romanian government has finalized its draft fro the 2019 budget and will submit it to Parliament for approval on Saturday. Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici presented the details of the budget and answers questions from the press.
The key figures of the budget are the following: a GDP growth of 5.5% to RON 1,022.5 billion ($244 billion), a budget deficit reduced to 2.55% of the GDP from 2.88% last year, a slight increase of the country’s public debt to 34.9% from 34.5% last year, a 10% increase in the minimum wage to RON 2,080 ($496) and also a 10% increase of the pension minimum to RON 704 ($168).
Answering a question, Teodorovici confirmed rumors that the budget of the secret services will be reduced this year.
“As Finance Minister I prefer for the money to go education and healthcare. It is an exaggeration to say that a cut and reallocation in funding impacts national security. Education and healthcare are also matters of national security”, Teodorovici said.
It seems that the government has backed down from its plan to reduce the financing of municipalities by increasing their duties to a higher degree than their financing.
“The needs are very significant, but we cannot only finance one particular part. They (the mayors) will see the figures, make their own budgets and realize funding for municipalities has not been reduced”, he said.
One issue in which Teodorovici dodged the question was whether the government will actually stick to its December emergency decree levying extra taxes on the most profitable sectors of the economy (banks, telecoms and energy firms), the so-called “greed tax”.
“I don’t want to anticipate an amendment of the decree. I don’t want to enter this discussion. My belief is that things will be settled the way we all want them to”, Teodorovici said.
Title image: Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici