PM Ponta: 2015, 2016 budgets aim at keeping 16 pct flat tax

Prime Minister Victor Ponta says the 2015-2016 state budget aims at keeping the 16 percent flat tax and cutting the special constructions tax on energy infrastructure from 1.5 percent to 1 percent.

‘I can say already that the budget has been drafted on the visit of the European Commission and FMI representatives late in November; the 16 percent flat tax will not change in 2015 and 2016, and the special constructions tax will go down from 1.5 percent to 1 percent. And in 2015-2016, if we rule, this USL [Social Liberal Union, former alliance of Ponta’s Social Democrat Party — PSD and National Liberal Party — PNL] will keep in force this 5 percent cut to the social contributions, implemented on October 1. The only thing we are looking into right now, and according to data up to October 20 I think it’s already possible next year, is to slash the VAT on fruits, vegetables and meat to 9 percent. So for every businessperson, these data are included in the fiscal and budget strategy and are certain,’ Ponta said on Monday night at the Romania TV station.

The prime minister promised these items will be taken over by his successor and by the new government.

‘I will be the president, and the new government and the new prime minister will assume not only these things, but also what we have negotiated for the healthcare sector, the education sector and the defence sector — the three of them,’ Ponta declared.

He mentioned a talk with National Bank of Romania (BNR, the central bank) Governor Mugur Isarescu on Monday, on the situation of the budget deficit and the current account.

‘And all these data are certified by non-governmental institution. I mean it’s not we say it. Go to the European Commission, to BNR and you will get exactly the same data. It’s not possible otherwise,’ Ponta asserted.

Within this context, he said the figures presented to him on Monday by the Finance Minister Ioana Petrescu and the Minister Delegate for Budget Darius Valcov, it’s the first year in Romania’s modern history when budget expenditure is less than revenues.

‘Namely, we have collected 176 billion [lei] to the budget, and spent 175.5 billion. So it’s the first time the government to come in December is left with no extra debt to pay. (…) And it’s possible — according to the results we have, in December, if these data are confirmed — to pay in advance obligations of the Romanian states to its citizens for 2015. I mean, having these money, we pay in December, not in 2016. This is the most probable version of closing the year within the figures agreed with the European Commission and the IMF,’ the prime minister added.

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