Government to present trade unions first form of 2009 budget

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The government will present the trade unions a first form of the draft budget for 2009, that will be discussed on Tuesday (Jan 27) also with the employers' associations, with the final form due to be approved on Jan 29.
On Friday, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Public Finance, with prime minister Emil Boc and Finance minister Gheorghe Pogea, with the employers' associations and the trade unions.
 
"We have not discussed the rises in pays, but, on Monday, we will see the first budget papers," said, at the end of the meeting, head of Cartel Alfa confederation Bogdan Hossu, who added that, on Tuesday, a meeting will be held, where "prioritized will be the anti-crisis measures, which will be included in the budget."
 
PM Emil Boc said, on Friday (Jan 23) after a meeting at the Finance Ministry, with the employers' associations and the trade unions concerning the budget and the anti-crisis measures, that next Friday, on Jan 29, when the budget bill for 2009 is to be adopted, it will be known for sure if and how much the salaries and pensions are raised.
 
He added that all the proposals which the employers' associations and the trade unions have made regarding the state budget will be analyzed "in detail", and an attempt will be made to include them in a plan of anti-crisis measures, as well as in the budget bill.
 
The anti crisis measure plan generally focuses on the economic development, namely the main element of the budget and the anti crisis measure plan aim at the economic development, supporting the business environment and it had in view the allocation of 20 percent of the budget for investments, through the massive endorsement of the public investments in the infrastructure, namely transport, ring roads, national roads, motorways, and in the budget's economic infrastructure so that the Government should avail of the required resources and fulfill its social commitments, PM Boc said.
 
The budget's second item refers to the removal of the likely gridlocks in the economy caused by arrears, and thus it is a priority to pay back the overdue bills the ex-Government left behind, as well as the due subsidies, lest the the State be an extra blockage source, in the context of the economic crisis, PM Boc added.
PM Boc said that the new budget would balance the economic and the social elements.
 
Another priority will be the EU funds absorption. The competent authorities will thoroughly monitor the way they fulfill their task of attracting the EU money.
The social component also has a decisive fraction in the state budget, I want to assure you that the budget will keep the balance between the economic component absolutely required to endorse Romania's going forward, and the social one, so that we can protect those who are really in need, namely those who are the most vulnerable, in crisis times, PM Boc said.
 
We and the trade unions were talking about curbing the Government's expenditure and asked a very precise analysis of the personnel, of the governmental structures, PM Boc stressed.
 
"Our goal is to forecast in the budget the spending registered at the level of the years 2007-2008. We want the Government's costs of staff, material goods and services in the 2009 budget to stand closely to that in 2007 and 2008, because as you all can see the former Government had a wrong approach and reached a deficit higher than 5%, because it spent money on commodities, material goods and not on investments, PM Boc said, adding that during the meeting with the trade unions, there was also talked the law on the single uniform pay for the public employees, as well as special laws.
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