Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Romania Govt Endorses 2009 Budget

29 October 2008
Bucharest _ The Romanian Government has passed the public budget for next year but failed to allocate any funds for a 50 percent increase in teachers' wages.

A decision on a pay hike for teachers will be postponed to next April, when a new bill that regulates wages in the public sector will be discussed.

Romania’s government is facing a backlash over its continued opposition to the teachers’ pay rise bill.

Last week, President Traian Basescu approved the bill, while on September 30, Parliament unanimously approved the salary increase, saying the country's good economic performance allows for the move.

However the rise is opposed by the government who fears that an increase of more than nine per cent is not financially feasible and will severely damage Romania's economy.

Meanwhile in its budget for next year, the government targets revenues at 38.8 per cent of gross domestic product - or Lei 224.5 billion, while forecasting spending at 40.8 percent of GDP, or Lei 236 billion.

The budget is boosting spending on education (6 percent of GDP), health (3.9 percent), transportation (4.5 percent) and agriculture (3 percent).

Romania faces a fiscal dilemma of having to pour cash into infrastructure and education and health programmes as it struggles to compete on European Union markets, while keeping spending down to contain inflation and a large current account deficit.

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