EXCLUSIVE. Discretionary payment for forfeit. MPs allowed to spend monthly lump sums on “Promo broadcasting on radio-TV”, “Car parking fees at the nearest airport”, “Regular and priority mailing” according to new discretionary budget regulations

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Extra careful with their “work-related” expenses, MPs have adopted the revised discretionary budget using the emergency procedure. The decision came immediately after the law of the parliamentary procedure was amended to allow for generously paid absences, rendered “immune”to any scrutiny if blessed by the political group leader, as Select News has learned and reported exclusively.

In the newly adopted decision, MPs have enforced new financial arrangements for their activity in the constituency as follows:

  1. Lump sums set out by the Parliamentary decision have not been augmented, their amount remaining for the time being at the level of one and a half monthly allowance. However, they will be regularly adjusted to follow the indexation of allowances and, more importantly, they will not be discontinued during parliamentary adjournments!
  2. Individual ceilings that were previously set as a percentage of the monthly lump sum have been removed for several categories of expenses as follows:  a) fuels and lubricants for transportation (previous ceiling 20%), b) furniture and stationary (15%), c) protocol (7%), d) cleaning materials (4%) adding up to 46%. Instead, the amended discretionary budget set out a 50% ceiling for all these expanses. Also, unspent funds will be carried forward to the following month!
  3. The range of deductible expanses from the monthly lump sump has broadened. In the previous parliamentary decision, Art. 14 read “In carrying out the mission, deputies and senators can use the lamp sum to cover, inter-alia, medical services related to staffing their parliamentary offices, official document printing and copying, public announcements and published ads and any other similar expenses”. In the amended discretionary budget, 17 categories of expenses have been made deductible. As a result, it is hard to imagine what cannot be deducted from the monthly lump sums. Broadcasting promotion, car parking fee in the nearest airport, simple and post office mailing are also deductible.

The minimum allowance of an MP amounts to RON 4,200, but, hierarchy-based, it can exceed RON 5,000 (a bonus is added to the allowance for MPs presiding committees). The impressive privileges of the MPs were presented extensively by DIGI24 at the beginning of the year.  But “the privileged”do not seem to be happy enough and, therefore, they found new ways to ease their “cruel fate” further.

Up to mid-2013, 15 members of the Parliament did not have any intervention in plenary sessions except for their public sworn-in appearance and 99 spoke only once according to ziare.com. Unlike them, hard working MPs had over 200 interventions each during the same period.

Obviously, most of the MPs, respond with absence and non-participation to the responsibility they were entrusted with. Regardless, the allowances and the discretionary budget lump sums are timely paid to all!

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