The proposal for a one-time contribution of up to 6,000 crowns this year for pensioners is “satisfactory” in the budget, said Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček. Jan Skopeček (ODS), the deputy chairman of the budget committee, called it election corruption. Economists also warn against further indebtedness, this year alone the state wants to borrow another 500 billion, which is by far the worst result in the country’s history.
According to Havlíček, every segment of the economy was supported in some form, so according to him, it is right to support pensioners as well. “This group has been isolated, it seems fair to us to settle accounts,” said Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and Trade and Transport Karel Havlíček (for YES) in the discussion program Partie on Prima television.
Jan Skopeček (ODS) stated that there is no grain of rational reasoning at this step. “We all want higher pensions, but pension reform should take place first. In addition, any expenditure beyond the statutory valorisation will help pensioners, but also means a shorter lifespan of the pension system for the middle generation,” he said. He called the move election corruption.
The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová (ČSSD) will submit to the government a proposal for a one-time bonus for pensioners of 6,000 crowns. She told Nova TV on Saturday. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (YES) spoke about the government’s one-off contribution of 5,000 or 6,000 crowns for pensioners in an interview for the Saturday issue of the daily Právo, but he will still discuss it with CSSD chairman Jan Hamáček.
According to the head of the Social Democrats, the planned bonus is to compensate seniors for their costs. “An agreement is being drawn up. I think that the Prime Minister and I will fine-tune it very quickly,” Hamáček said. According to him, the agreement on the amount of the contribution is between five and six thousand crowns. “If we managed to pay it off this year, it would be easier in terms of the state budget,” he added.
The contribution would cost 18 billion
On Sunday, in Questions by Václav Moravec of Czech Television, Maláčová specified that the contribution could also take the form of a monthly contribution of CZK 500 paid for a period of 12 months. According to her, there is also a variant in the game that pensioners would not receive a one-time bonus, but that the monthly five hundred crown contribution for a period of 12 months would permanently join the legal valorisation of pensions.
If, in the end, a one-time contribution of 6,000 crowns were paid, Maláčová would not demand an increase in pensions higher than the statutory valorisation next year, according to her. According to her, it would be technically very difficult to manage both of these payments. “We can also talk about it, and it would be more permanent and expensive to add CZK 500 beyond valorisation every year,” she said.
At the end of July, Babiš first proposed a change in valorisation, ie a legal increase in the monthly amount of pensions, from January 2021 from approximately 840 to 900 crowns. The CSSD then proposed an increase in valorisation of up to 400 crowns. Babiš subsequently stated that valorisation could increase by up to 500 crowns. The average old-age pension was 14,397 crowns at the end of March. According to the calculation of the Ministry of Finance, the contribution of 6,000 crowns would come to the state treasury at 18 billion.
A million for everyone, says Fiala
“At the next meeting of the Chamber of Deputies, we will propose a one-time contribution of one million crowns for each citizen. Given that populists and socialists have obviously invented an infinite budget, this should not be a problem and will certainly support us,” .
According to the first vice-president of Pirates, Olga Richter, this is a random and irresponsible proposal. “You did not say a single source, a single income, to finance this,” she told Maláčová in Václav Moravec’s Questions. According to Richter, a similar unsystematic approach could lead to him not retiring in five or six years. According to her, there is a need to support, for example, women who have low pensions due to previous family care.
The area bonus was also questioned by the chairman of KDU-ČSL Marian Jurečka. “Everyone can add it across the board, but what if you could help Prime Minister Babiš those who need it most of all seniors?” wrote on Twitter. Among the people with “ridiculously small pensions” he named women raising children, widows and widowers. “Help those who need help!” he added.
According to STAN chairman Vít Rakušan, populist despair culminates. “Even the greatest veils will not obscure the inability of this government in times of crisis to think strategically and plan for the next generation,” he said.
The head of the TOP 09 deputies, Miroslav Kalousek, called on taxpayers to respond to the government’s proposal in the elections. “I have a question for all of you who pay this government from your taxes and pay its debts. For those of you who are not anxious about whether you will have wages for your employees. For those of you who are afraid of work: How much will you improve? for Christmas? Answer the election, “he wrote on Twitter.
According to the director of services for the financial sector of KPMG CR and a member of KoroNERV-20 Mojmír Hampl, the government thinks that a perpetuum mobile has been created, that public finances are bottomless. “If we don’t want to lose the stability of public finances, let’s not do things that have no economic logic. This doesn’t have it,” he added. According to him, it is possible to get public finances on an unsustainable path in three years, to accumulate additional debt in the order of a trillion crowns. That is the threat of this country, “he warned.