Social protection measures benefiting children and some pensioner categories come into force this month.
April comes with good news for Romanian children, who will receive increased allowances as of this month. In early February Parliament approved a raise in child allowances from around 18 euros to roughly 32 euros per month for children aged 2 to 18, as well as for youth over 18 years who are still high school or vocational school students. Allowances for children up to 2 years, and for children with disabilities up to 3 years, are also raised from 42 to 63 euros a month. The increase was introduced by means of an amendment to the 2019 state budget law, tabled by the National Liberal Party in opposition.
The Labour Minister, Marius Budai, explained: “An ordinance passed by the Government concerning the increase of child allowances comes into effect this month, but the increased amounts for April will only be paid in May. As many as 3.6 million children will benefit from this decision.”
The Labour Minister also announced that all pension benefits for this month will be paid until April 15th, enabling pensioners to prepare for Easter. In an interview to Radio Romania, Marius Budai said that the pension recalculation process is going as planned, with over 30,000 cases already finalised. These involve people having worked in difficult conditions, and who will now receive increased pensions.
Marius Budai once again: “The process will carry on, and until September 30, as per current legislation, all the 100,000 pensioners subject to these provisions will receive their pension recalculation decisions, together with the outstanding amounts and of course, they will continue to receive the new, increased pensions in the future. As of September 1, the pension point value is set to go up from 1,100 to 1,265 lei, so obviously all the 5 million pensioners in Romania will be getting this 15% pension increase.”
But not everybody sees the glass half full. The former Social Democratic PM of Romania, Victor Ponta, who has recently set up a new political party, Pro Romania, warns that the 3 billion euro loan recently taken out by the Government comes with the highest cost in the history of the country, and is intended for current expenses, rather than major investments.
Victor Ponta: “We will pay 2.2 billion euro in interests for this loan. And as you know, this 3 billion euro loan will cover current expenses. This means pensions and salaries, and this means that we will have nothing left once this money is spent.”
All that will be left of this loan is, as Victor Ponta put it, a 5.2 billion euro debt that all of us will have to repay.