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LabourMin wants to reintroduce maternity grant for second baby

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Prague, April 18 (CTK) – Czech families will get a child birth grant not only for their firstborn but also for their second baby as of 2015, according to a draft amendment to the law on welfare worked out by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry.
The centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) pledged in its coalition agreement to reintroduce the birth grant for the second child.
The ministry proposes that mothers get 10,000 crowns from the state after the birth of their second child. For the birth of the first baby the mother would get 13,000 crowns, same as now.
The birth grant is a welfare benefit that helps families cover the costs related to the birth of a baby.
At present, the birth grants are given to families whose income is not 2.4 times higher than the subsistence level, which means about 18,500 crowns a month or lower.
Under the ministry’s proposal, the birth grants would be received by all families whose monthly incomes are not 2.7 times higher than the subsistence level, or a maximum of 20,800 crowns in case of the first baby and of 25,500 crowns in case of the second baby.
The sum received if twins or triples are born would be increased from 19,500 to 23,000 crowns, the ministry says.
Until the end of 2010, the grant was paid to every mother who gave birth to a baby. As of 2011, the centre-right government of Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) introduced stricter rules for the payment of birth grants as part of its austerity measures adopted in reaction to the economic crisis. Only relatively poor families have been receiving the money for their firstborn since then.
In 2013, 11,300 birth grants were paid out from the state budget, in total nearly 150 million crowns.
The Labour Ministry calculated that the state would spend about 480 million crowns on birth grants a year, if the new system is introduced.
After the Labour Ministry receives comments from other ministries and institutions and trade unions, it will submit the amendment to the law on welfare to the government. To take effect, the amendment needs to be approved by the government, passed by the lower and upper houses of parliament and signed by the president.
($1=19.850 crowns)

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