The Government of Romania is granting more welfare benefits.
The left-wing government in Bucharest, dominated by the Social Democratic Party, seems tireless in taking a series of social measures, focusing mainly on the so-called underprivileged categories. The government promised to increase the gross minimum wage by almost 10% to reach the equivalent of 220 euros, disability allowances by 16%, and to double child benefits for 500,000 children from low-income families.
Increasing the allowance for foster children and doubling the food allowance for institutionalised children or children placed in foster care, as well as doubling the daily food allowances for adults with disabilities or in care centres, are also part of the government’s plan. A clear sign that the Government’s generosity has no limit is the fact that pensions will also go up. According to the Minister of Labor and Social Protection, Rovana Plumb, as of January 1st, 2015, the Government will enforce the Constitutional Court’s decision on recalculating pensions. The number of pensioners to benefit from this measure stands at almost 240 thousand, with pensions going up by roughly 90 euros. In addition to this, all pensions will be increased by 5% in 2015. Minister Plumb has also announced that authorities want to encourage the inclusion of disadvantaged categories in the labour market, by granting a minimum insertion income, made up of the minimum gross salary, the family support allowance and the heating allowance.
Minister Rovana Plumb: “By introducing this minimum insertion income we want to encourage people to re-enter the labour market, given that this amount will no longer be taken out of their salary, either in the case of day labourers or in the case of people who have fixed-term or open-ended employment contracts.”
These measures, alongside a 5% decrease in the social security contributions paid by employers, the annulment of several taxes and duties and fiscal amnesty for a category of pensioners and mothers, are among the most important measures taken by the Bucharest government lately. The simple fact that these decisions were taken in an election year might be, for those unaware of how things work in post-communist Romania, a simple coincidence.