Prague, Jan 12 (CTK) – The Czech senior ruling Social Democrats (CSSD) propose that the child benefits paid out to parents who work be markedly raised, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said on Thursday, adding that families with average incomes should also be entitled to it.

Sobotka said the CSSD will present the proposal to the government coalition council. If agreement on it were reached, the proposal could be included in a draft amendment which is already being discussed now and passed by the October general election.

The CSSD proposes that the current 500, 610 and 700 crowns per month be raised to 1000, 1100 and 1200 crowns depending on the child’s age.

Now, child benefits are paid to families with an income not exceeding subsistence level 2.4 times. According to the new proposal, working parents whose household’s income does not exceed subsistence level three times would receive the benefits.

Sobotka said this would raise the number of children entitled to the benefit by 300,000 from the current 400,000. The increase would require five billion crowns more, compared to the about three billion now.

Sobotka said the annual spending of eight billion crowns is “no staggering amount.”

An increase in child benefits is included in the blueprint for family policy drafted by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry. Originally, it counted with doubling the benefits to 1000, 1200 and 1500 crowns for all families whose income does not exceed subsistence level 3.5 times. This would entail an additional 13.2 billion crowns annually more.