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VLADISLAV GORANOV: THERE NEEDS TO BE A MINIMUM WAGE

18.05.2017

"What we announced in the pre-election campaign as a commitment is to remove the limit, and the constraints as a whole, on the access to assisted reproduction. Our commitment was to do what is necessary to remove the financial limitations, and yesterday's act of the Government turns this into a fact". This is what the Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov said in the morning programme of Nova TV. According to him, the decision adopted will rank Bulgaria among the several top countries in Europe to increase the number of in vitro procedures to three or four, this also being a physiological restriction. The Finance Minister assured: "The work of the Assisted Reproduction Centre and the process of issuing assistance orders will be accelerated, while the Centre's budget funds will be increased as much as necessary". He explained that during the consultations with the leading specialists in this field they had warned about the risk of having the other extreme in case of offering an unlimited number of in vitro procedures, i.e. some unscrupulous doctors, who are far from the Hippocratic oath and for whom this is a kind of business, to try to receive endless resources. "Another proposal of the medical specialists is related to the financing of the storage of ova of women with cancer, which will preserve their chances for having children", he added.

The Supreme Administrative Court rescinded the Council of Ministers' Decree of end-January 2017 determining a new minimum wage. The Minister of Finance commented on the situation in the following way: "This happened in the final days of the Borissov 2 government when it was not clear how the constitutional procedure for the appointment of a caretaker government would be abided by. The colleagues from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy made an omission in their effort to keep the deadline and to keep their commitment in accordance with the State Budget Law, and the decree was not agreed with the National Tripartite Council. According to him the way out of this situation is as follows: "We will try to convince the Court that the minimum wage should remain BGN 460. If we fail, we will reconfirm the decree by following all the procedures". Minister Goranov was firm that there should be a minimum wage because if one only relied on the market to set the remuneration, which was a good approach, it would be highly probable to advance pretty slowly. "Over the years we have been extremely careful with the minimum wage as a result of the situation on the labour market, because of the mantra for the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy, but it is the Government's single tool to regulate and put pressure on the labour market and to influence income, especially in low added value manufacturing", he explained and asked the quite natural question whether there should be such a type of business in Bulgaria at all. "It's time for Bulgaria, through the minimum wage mechanism, to have a hi-tech and competitive business that would allow earning higher income", he said.

As to the disability pension abuse, the minister said that those pensions served as a supplementary income for pensioners. It was not accidental that the pressure for increasing the number of this type of pensions came after the 1999 reform. If suspended, this would mean taking income from poor people, but the unjust lying to the system, hence benefiting from rights, needed to be addressed. According to him, 20% of the persons had a false expert opinion, or one that was not real. "There needs to be a reform of the working capacity expertise and everything saved as a result would stay within the social system. The disability pensions cost BGN 1.7 billion a year, while the patient's charts paid by the NSSI and by the business amount to over BGN 500 million. Should we constrain the abuse with disability and temporary incapacity to work, the social system will have hundreds of millions levs at a disposal for the people who are in real want", Minister Goranov said.