Prague, Sept 10 (CTK) – The Czech centre-left government will open the debate on the draft state budget for next year with a projected deficit of 50 billion crowns at its meeting on Monday and the ministers still need to find agreement on a pay rise in the public sector.

The Social Democrats (CSSD) and trade unions demand that salaries of people employed in the public sector be increased by 10 percent as of November and those of teachers even by 15 percent. The trade unions threatened to go on strike unless their demands are met.

Representatives of the CSSD, the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) will talk about the pay rise on Monday before the meeting of their coalition cabinet.

Compared with the 2018 state budget draft worked out in June, the Finance Ministry now increased the budget’s expenditures and revenues equally by 21 billion crowns. The ministry increased the revenues by raising the estimated economic growth from 2.9 percent to 3.1 percent and improving the expected tax incomes. Due to the pay rise, eight billion crowns are still missing, however, Finance Minister Ivan Pilny (ANO) told public Czech Television (CT) on Sunday.

The ministries should provide the missing finances using the planned expenditures that have not been spent, Pilny said. But the ministries declared on Friday that they have no money to spare, he added.

Compared with the original draft from June, Pilny increased the expenditures of most of the ministries.

The outgoing government is to approve the state budget and send it to the lower house of parliament by the end of September. The lower house will deal with the budget bill after the October general election, in which new members of the house will be chosen.