Minimum salary and pensions increase in Romania, though not as much as established by the previous parliament
The government in Bucharest has increased the minimum gross basic salary at national level, which thus reaches 2,300 lei per month, the equivalent of approximately 470 euros. It is an increase of about three percent, taking into account the inflation rate of 2.2% and the real increase in labor productivity per person of 0.8% for 2020. According to official data, in Romania there are about 1.4 million employees who receive the minimum salary, which represents more than a quarter of the total active workforce. For staff with higher education and at least one year of experience in the field of training, the minimum gross base guaranteed salary is maintained at 2,350 lei, about 480 euros, an amount that does not include bonuses and other benefits.
Prime Minister Florin Cîţu has stated that this increase comes into force on January 1st and citizens' purchasing power is maintained. He has also announced that the Executive will increase pension this year too, but in keeping with the calendar set by the current center-right coalition and only after the state budget has been developed.
On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court of Romania issued a decision admitting, but also rejecting claims from the Government related to a law to increase pensions by 40%, adopted by the former parliament, dominated at the time by the Social Democrats. According to some experts, this means that the law on the increase remains in force if the current parliament does not bring changes to it, at the potential request of President Klaus Iohannis. Romania did not afford last year and cannot afford it this year either to increase pensions by 40%, the Liberal Prime Minister Florin Cîţu has warned. He has recalled that pensions increased by 14% in 2020 and promised they will increase this year as well.
Representatives of the governing coalition have said they took on another timetable for raising pensions, which takes into account the current economic conditions.The Minister of Labor, Raluca Turcan, claims that such an increase would generate an impact on the budget that is difficult to bear and that the executive will increase the pensions in a bearable quantum, which will not lead to blockages.
The president of the opposition Social Democratic Party, Marcel Ciolacu, has accused the current coalition of permanently complaining about the lack of money, without trying to look for solutions. That is why, he has said, the Social Democrats will present their own budget solution and prove that the money exists. The Social Democrats also claim that the Constitutional Court's decision is correct and that the 40 percent pension increase must be applied, without intervening on it. Prime Minister Florin Cîțu has explained that the state budget for this year will be submitted to Parliament at the beginning of next month and then the amounts allocated for pensions will be set. (M. Ignatescu)