Prague, April 27 (CTK) – The financial demands of Czech ministries for next year exceed the possibilities of the 2017 state budget by 40 billion crowns, Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said after a cabinet meeting yesterday.
“A discussion about an increase in expenditures is nothing unusual and it returns every year. I think we will reach a reasonable agreement,” Babis said.
Babis and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) agreed that the 2017 budget deficit should be lower than the 2015 and 2016 deficits.
Last year, the state budget deficit was projected at 100 billion, but it reached only 63 billion. This year it is projected at 70 billion crowns. Babis plans the deficit to be 60 billion next year.
Czech ministries demand more money for salaries, among others.
The Social Democrats want to raise the pay of doctors, nurses and teachers by 10 percent and those of other employees from the public sector by 5 percent.
Babis has proposed that the salaries of teachers go up by 5 percent and all the remaining employees be paid 3 percent more than now.
Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said he is seeking a 10-percent pay rise for employees of state-run cultural institutions.
Sobotka said state-run hospitals have problems to prevent their staff from leaving abroad due to the low salaries. “Everybody else pays more, Germans as well as Slovaks,” he said.
Sobotka said the state should pay higher health insurance for children, pensioners and the unemployed.
The CSSD also wants the monthly pensions to go up by 200 or 300 crowns.