Alexei Buzu: Budget for subsidies is smaller this year

The authorities planned a smaller budget for providing cold-month subsidies this year, said Minister of Labor and Social Protection Alexei Buzu. According to him, the budget is smaller as the energy charges are also lower this year. The official noted the authorities are improving the mechanism for providing subsidies and state support will be offered only to the most vulnerable families. To benefit from subsidies, the citizens will have to register in the information system as from November 1, IPN reports.

The minister avoided specifying the sum allocated for subsidies this year, but admitted that it is lower than last year and will vary depending on the charges set by the National Agency for Energy Regulation and the funds available in the state budget.

“The budget for subsidies is smaller this year. The system of subsidies will be a targeted one and will be primarily aimed at families and households with small incomes. We made a number of changes and introduced two new categories. We will have such categories as extremely vulnerable, vulnerable, of medium, low and primary vulnerability, and non-vulnerable. We seek to make the distribution of subsidies much more equitable, depending on the category in which the household is. The available budget is smaller, but the charges are also lower than last year,” Alexei Buzu stated in the program “Shadow Cabinet” on JurnalTV channel.

According to the minister, the authorities will collect data from all the state institutions so as to exclude abuses and to support only the really vulnerable persons. The registration in the information system starts on November 1 and will be similar to last year’s procedure.

“The system is automatically connected to all the databases of the State Tax Service and the National House of Social Insurance. We also analyze the historical consumption of energy. If a household declares incomes of 4,000 lei, while the data of energy suppliers show that this earlier paid 15,000-20,000 lei for energy, the system signals a problem. We investigate the case and the household is given a lower vulnerability degree. Each year, the persons will register again as the consumption and incomes of the household vary. The composition of the family changes. More children are born. Registration starts on November 1 and the incomes for the last six months are declared on registration. Our mates from the frontline will again help the families that do not have access to the Internet to register,” explained the Minister of Labor and Social Protection.

According to official data, the Government the previous heating season provided subsidies for energy to the value of 3.4 billion lei. About 763,000 households registered in the information system (approximately 80%) were given a high vulnerability degree.

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