Finance minister plans no wage cuts in public administration

As Romania’s economy contracts and the 2020 budget deficit increases, the Finance Minister says the costs of the crisis triggered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic must be borne by everyone. However, when asked by Hotnews about sensitive topics such as reducing (even temporarily) the wages of all public sector employees, he was more careful when formulating his answer.

“Here, I can only give you my personal opinion: It’s clear that the cost of this crisis must be borne by everyone, and we must be supportive. The measures and methodology are decided by the government, and I don’t make such decisions alone. From my perspective, I think we need to be united at this moment, regardless of the sector we come from. But I repeat, this is my personal opinion,” Finance Minister Florin Cîțu said in an online interview with Hotnews.

When asked whether these supportive measures also mean a 25 percent cut in wages for public administration workers, he formulated his answer more carefully: “No, we are not going in that direction. There are many other ways of reducing the costs of public administration, and we had started working on it before the crisis kicked in by reducing the number of ministers. We reformed the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF), as well. I don’t know how the government will proceed or what it will decide on this matter; it is possible to ignore my opinion. What I can tell you now is that solidarity is what we need at this point for everyone in all existing sectors,” he added.

Applying the same measures implemented to tackle the 2010 financial crisis (cutting the wages of public workers by 25 percent), will likely cause an uproar among affected employees.

Title image: Finance Minister Florin Cîțu

Author: István Fekete