Opposition to file “thousands” of amendments to RO Govt.’s budget law
Romania's Social Democratic Party (PSD) will submit "thousands" of amendments to the 2021 budget law draft passed by the center-right Government of Florin Citu on February 19, announced PSD's first vice president Sorin Grindeanu.
Prime minister Florin Citu announced that the Executive passed the draft budget law in roughly the same form as that published for consultations.
While the social partners (trade unions, pensioners' associations) have accused the "austerity" measures included in the draft, the Fiscal Council issued a broadly positive opinion but stressed the need for boosting revenues by better tax collection (a remark issued by independent analysts as well). The Government aims for a 7.16%-of-GDP public deficit under the scenario of 4.3% GDP growth.
The Social Democrats argued for more social spending and more money earmarked for the public health system.
Grindeanu stated in a press conference that PSD would file amendments provisioning for the public financing of 200 community health centers and 50 specialized healthcare centers that his party promised in the election campaign, Profit.ro reported. PSD will also file amendments aimed at disbursing funds for the rehabilitation of schools and the creation of an infrastructure for online education.
The SocDems also want more money for agriculture, for the Start-up Nation grants program and another similar program for students, for grants aimed at encouraging the replacement of energy-intensive household appliances. PSD will also propose paying a EUR 400 bonus at the birth of each child. Asked whether PSD will also propose a higher budget for cults, Grindeanu answered yes.
The PSD first vice president argued that the supplementary resources needed to finance the higher expenditures should come from curbing tax evasion, estimated at RON 100 billion (EUR 20 bln, 9% of GDP). He invoked the Fiscal Council's remark on the need to boost revenues.
PSD recently published an "alternative" budget planning for 2021, including higher pensions and child allowances - with most of the supplementary expenditures financed out of better tax collection (including the arrears to budget).
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