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Gov’t to approve 2018 state budget draft by end of September

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Prague, Sept 7 (CTK) – The Czech government will approve the 2018 state budget bill by the end of September, which is the standard deadline, in spite of the dispute related to the pay rise of employees in the public sector, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Finance Minister Ivan Pilny agreed on Thursday.

The passage of the next year’s state budget will be more complicated as a new government and lower house of parliament are to be formed after the general election due on October 20-21.

The three government parties, including the Social Democrats (CSSD), the ANO movement and the Christian Democratic Union (KDU-CSL), are to discuss the controversial pay rise on Monday before a cabinet meeting.

Sobotka (CSSD) said the government coalition must reach an agreement on the issue.

He said the CSSD supports the trade unions’ demand that the salaries of teachers go up by 15 percent and the salaries of other people employed in the public sector by 10 percent as of November.

Pilny (ANO) said earlier this week that there is not enough money in the budget to meet all the demands made by trade unions.

The union leaders warned that the employees would go on strike unless the government increased the wages.

Sobotka said there is approximately 100 billion crowns in the reserve funds of individual ministries and a great part of the sum might be used for the pay rise for teachers.

Sobotka and Pilny praised the measures that the government adopted against the grey economy, especially the electronic registration of sales (EET) and value-added tax ledger statements.

“We agreed that the measures that the government pushed through increased the state budget revenues. The economy is growing very well. Taxes are collected in a better way, but the state is receiving incomes in a faster pace than would correspond to the economic growth, and this is the result of these measures – the EET and VAT ledger statements,” Sobotka said.

He said the Finance Ministry should continue its work on the model of the financing of new blocks in the Dukovany nuclear pwoer plant.

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