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Labour minister wants steeper rise in pensions based on new rules

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Prague, Sept 9 (CTK) – Czech Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova wants the cabinet to use its newly-acquired power and raise pensions by 2.7 percent, more than originally planned, without parliament’s approval as of next year, she has told CTK.
The new power, in force since August, enables the centre-left cabinet to raise pensions without parliament’s consent if their increase in accordance with valid rules is low.
Marksova suggested that pensions be raised by 2.7 percent, which means an increase by about 300 crowns a month, instead of a 200-crown increase based on the coalition agreement, on which the Finance Ministry controlled by the ANO movement insists.
A 300-crown increase would raise the spending on pensions by 10.7 billion crowns, which is 3.7 billion more than the sum projected by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry’s draft budget for 2017, which reckons with a 200-crown increase only.
Marksova will submit both variants to the cabinet for discussion. If the cabinet approves the increase promoted by the Finance Ministry, the proportion of the average monthly old age pension to the average pay would reach 39.7 percent.
If it approves the higher increase preferred by Marksova, the proportion would narrowly cross 40 percent.
Pensions have been increased in the Czech Republic always as of January, the rise being a combination of the previous increase in prices and one third of the increase in real wages.
These indicators were low last year and therefore pensions rose by the average of only 40 crowns last time this January. That is why lawmakers previously approved a one-off 1,200-crown increase in pensions this year.
($1=23.921 crowns)

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