The subsidies provided by the Government are partial and some of the families can be unable to pay the bills and will accumulate debts. They are now working intensely with Moldovagaz and with other gas suppliers for the reductions and compensations to be provided directly through the bills that will be issued in December for November, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Marcel Spatari stated in IPN’s public debate “Shock of rates and government’s remedies for diminishing its impact on the population”.
The minister said that the cold-month assistance imply particular effort on the part of the potential recipients. The applicants need to go to the community social assistant to fill out a form where they specify the family’s incomes. The application is taken by the social assistant and is introduced into the automated information system “Social Assistance”. Later, the social assistant, together with a commission, makes a visit to the home of the applicant to assess the resources of the family. The recipients will get a fixed sum of 700 lei a month per family.
In the case of the subsidized part of the natural gas and heat bills, the consumers will not have to do anything. They will only have to pay the bill that will indicate the regulated gas rate of 11.08 lei with VAT included. For the first 50 m3 of consumed gas, the Government will subsidize two third of the rate rise, while for the next 100 m3 – half of the rate rise. This way, a family that consumes at most 150 cubic meters of gas a month will get a subsidy of about 540 lei with VAT included. About 25% of the consumers in Moldova use more than 150 m3 of natural gas a month. These will also have the first 150 m3 of gas subsidized.
The mechanism of subsidizing the costs of heat incurred by consumers from the municipality of Chisinau and Bălți, who are connected to the centralized heating system, is similar. The subsidy in bills will represent two thirds for the first consumed gigacalorie (about 450 lei for a household that consumes a gigacalorie or more). The residential users connected to the centralized heating system usually consume less than a gigacalorie per family.
All the measures taken by the Government will cost about 1.6 billion lei, but Moldova is supported by the EU, which announced that it will allocate 1.2 billion lei in budget support. This sum will not yet come directly for subsidies.
In another development, the minister said the minimum guaranteed salary in Moldova is very low, of only 2,200 lei in the public sector and of 2,935 lei in the real sector. The rates were set by the previous governments and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection aims to increase the minimum salary.
As to communication with society, Marcel Spatari said each government has own communication means. The current ruling party is young and has limited resources, including communication channels. Unlike other parties, it does not have own TV channels, news agencies etc. The representatives of the government should be more present in the public sphere and should take part in conferences and debates and give interviews. Regrettably, their statements are often taken out of context and this happened to him too. The authorities should indeed be more active and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection therefore initiated the reform of the owned websites so that the population knows exactly what the Ministry does daily, but the process takes time.
The public debate “Shock of rates and government’s remedies for diminishing its impact on the population” is the 213th installment of the series of debates “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. The project is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.