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PM Orban: We want to increase minimum wage, but we don't want it to cause negative economic consequences


The Government endorses the increase of minimum wage, but it doesn't want this increase to cause "negative economic consequences," Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has said on Thursday, adding that he also wishes for pensions to increase, while bringing to mind that the pensions fund has a deficit of more than 2 billion lei at this point.

"For two weeks, the party that got banished from power has been spreading, on all possible channels, bald-faced lies. (...) The PNL [the National Liberal Party] endorses the increase of incomes for every social category. Certainly, this increase should be based on economic indicators, should be based on a solid and sustainable economic growth, backed up by stable pillars such as investments, private investments, increase of competitiveness (...), to truly lead to the increase of the purchasing power. (...) We want the increase of the minimum wage, but we don't want it to generate negative economic consequences for companies, to trigger the withdrawal from the Romanian market of some investors and, especially, to lead to lay offs. (...) There has been an attempt to decrease pensions by 15 percent, as a result of the CCR [the Constitutional Court of Romania] decision saying that cutting pensions is unconstitutional and it is a property right earned by any citizen. Therefore, our parents and grandparents should have confidence that we want to increase pensions (...), but we don't want to do it only on paper, for we want them to feel an increase in their purchasing power as well," Orban stated at the Labour Ministry at the office takeover of new Labor Minister Violeta Alexandru.

In this context, he brought to mind "the bald-faced lies systematically spread by a toxic party which mocked Romania in the past 30 years" and argued that the promise recently made by former Labour Minister Marius Budai, regarding the increase of the minimum wage by 100 lei, is not supported by an impact study, in the context in which "any increase of the minimum wage in the public sector leads to salaries increases (...), which leads to the increase of the labour cost of companies".

The PM also said the Government wants to very seriously analyse the active measures existing on the labour market, because, of all the consultations carried out with private employers, "the main problem is the workforce crisis, especially of the skilled work force of craftsmen and people with higher education, especially, in the technical area."

In this context, Orban showed that the best social protection for a person is to have a sought-out profession and find a well paid job, because then, one does not need the state assistance and all the costs destined to social marginalisation situations.

Ludovic Orban said he is very worried about the pensions fund.

"We are very worried about the pensions fund. (...) Today, we are confronted with a pensions fund deficit of over 2 billion lei, we will surely find out soon what the deficit is exactly. It increases the transfer, the value of the amounts which should be transferred from the state budget to the pensions budget. (...) I requested the Finance Minister to present me the situation (...). In a first stage we will carry out an internal audit at the level of each ministry, following which it will result an organisational chart which will be the basis of the HG [the Government Decision] for the organisation and functioning of every ministry. (...) We aim for a larger number of employees in the public system to have a greater relation with the citizen, to carry out services and operations to the citizen's benefit, (...) to create a digitised modern administration, which reduces the contact between the employee and the citizens," the PNL leader explained.