The Government’s staged approach to the increase of children’s allowance did not go past the Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies in Bucharest, so according to the law, the Government will have to double children’s allowance
The Chamber of Deputies in Bucharest has repelled, in its capacity of decision-making body, the Government's emergency executive order on the staged increase of children's allowance. Accordingly, the law remains effective, compelling the Government to double children's allowance, just as it is stipulated in a normative act Parliament passed last year. As for the bill voted in the Chamber of Deputies, it is yet to be promulgated. Children's allowance was supposed to be increased as early as March 1 this year, from 150 to 300 lei. Disabled children were supposed to receive 600 lei, up from 300 lei. The Government has delayed the implementation date, claiming the lack of funding. President Klaus Iohannis stated the Government acted to the best of its abilities, providing the allowance increase with budgetary resources that were limited by the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Iohannis believed that the repelling by the opposition Social-Democratic Party of the staged increase of children's allowance was a populist undertaking.
"The Social Democrats' way of doing things, that is repelling, conveyor-belt fashion, of such executive orders, seems like a blunt approach to me, to put it at the mildest. They, just like the government, know all too well we don't have money at our fingertips for that. We are going through an economic crisis, we have problems caused by the epidemic, nay, by the pandemic, as we're not the only ones having to go through all that, as the way things develop in other countries influence us as well. "
Children's allowance will be doubled, but that will happen in stages. As for the MPs casting their vote in favor of populist laws, they should donate money from their incomes, so that the budget may have more money for the allowance to be doubled, Public Finance Minister Florin Citu said in turn, as a guest in a private TV station show. Citu went on to say the law by means of which children's allowance was doubled in 2020 was unconstitutional, because it was voted in Parliament with no existing source of financing. Public Finance Minister Citu also said, QUOTE, Even in the situation we're having today, that of going through a global economic crisis, considering domestic economy has been closed down for two months, in a bid to keep Romanians healthy, taking into account we've seen a drop in budget revenues, nevertheless, we could find resources for a 20% increase in children's allowance, UNQUOTE.
General debates held in the Chamber of Deputies' plenary session were preceded by a requirement from the governing National Liberal Party, whereby the draft for the emergency executive order should be resubmitted to the commission. The requirement did not enjoy that much success at the ballot, and was followed by accusations of populism and corruption launched from the Parliamentary stands. The leader of liberal deputies, Florin Roman, lambasted the Social Democrats for their political scheming, as local elections were drawing near. Roman also cautioned against the fact that an allowance increase had to be implemented so that the state budget may not be affected. In turn, the Social Democrats rejected the accusations, calling on the government to find the money that were needed for the increase of children's allowance. Save Romania Union MPs abstained from voting. As for the People's Movement Party and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians, they voted in favor of doubling children's allowance, calling on the government to refrain from being tight-fisted at the expense of the country's 3.6 million children.
(Translation by Eugen Nasta).