"This government is guided by a devil-may-care attitude," former Minister of Finance

Former Minister of Finance Natalia Gavrilița claims that five of the seven actions announced at a joint conference by the President, Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker have been planned by the previous government. However, due to the other two populist initiatives, the current government risks not having enough financial means to pay for all of them. Natalia Gavrilița refers to the double indexation and the 700 lei for pensioners.

"It is important to mention that in fact, most of the announced social programs are from the solidarity budget proposed by the Sandu Government, both the 10% wage rise and the increase in the social aid for the cold season from 350 to 500 lei, the increase in the allowance for veterans from 100 to 300 lei. And we regret that other social programs that we proposed, such as “help with the energy meter” - supporting low-income pensioners to pay for electricity, have not been included. However, it is not clear how these expenses will be covered, because in the solidarity budget I have proposed a sustainable, realistic way of financing these programs”, said Natalia Gavrilița in an interview with Radio Free Europe, quoted by IPN.

The former head of the Ministry of Finance specified that all the impact calculations were made, feasible programs and funding sources were proposed. Among the financing sources were 40 million euros - the third tranche of macro-financial assistance from the European Union, a hundred million euros planned loan from Romania, and 50 million dollars from the World Bank.

"Now, if all the social programs proposed by this PSRM-PDM Government are to be implemented, there is practically no chance of their receiving these resources. The Romanian Government has already said that it will not grant the bilateral loan. They took populist actions, such as indexation, that distort the pension system, let's see how they will implement them. We had some realistic proposals, but I don't think this government is capable of proposing a realistic alternative, that is why it is very clear that this government is guided by a devil-may-care (après nous, le deluge) attitude and that the government will probably borrow from the private sector, from the banking sector, thus impeding small and medium-sized enterprises and the real sector to access financial resources or, at least, limiting possibilities for the private sector ”, explains Natalia Gavrilița.

The former minister affirms that pensions need to be raised, but in a sustainable way, not by such one-time programs before the election. As for the granting of 700 lei for holidays to pensioners, Natalia Gavrilița says it is a program of about 400 million. "It is not clear how double indexation will be carried out and that is why it is hard for me to say how they calculated the impact, but I also think that the new programs envisaged by us for ministries will be cut down. These new programs were worth 1 billion 500 million lei and they included, for instance, state guaranteed legal assistance, social programs for children who were victims or witnesses of crimes, programs related to expanding information technologies, in a word, programs that would have led to the development of sectoral policies”, noted the former minister.

At a press conference, held by the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Parliament, seven social initiatives were announced, among which the granting of seven hundred lei to the pensioners on the eve of the holidays, the indexation of pensions twice a year, salary increases for the budget sector employees, etc.