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Social Democrats insisting on progressive taxation

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Prague, Dec 10 (CTK) – The Social Democrats (CSSD) do not want to make any cosmetic changes in the tax system, but a basic reform towards progressive taxation, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said Saturday, adding that the current system suited the big and the rich.
The party wants to unveil the specific conditions of the reform next spring, Sobotka said after a meeting of the party’s broad leadership.
Sobotka said the current taxation system had been implemented due to the lobbying of the richest after 2006.
“We pursue the crucial objective of lowering the taxes for the people with average and lower salaries,” Sobotka said.
“What matters is that they should benefit from the progressive system. This means the crushing majority of employees in our country,” he added.
At present, the tax burden is laid on people with medium and low income through increases in VAT, Sobotka said.
The progressive taxation is to be the party’s main trademark with which to gain voters in the election to the Chamber of Deputies scheduled for next autumn.
Sobotka said he was not afraid that the proposals could alienate any voters from the CSSD.
“One has to look at the salaries of the people in reality. Two-thirds of people have the salaries on or below the average. We are targeting these people, we want to help them,” Sobotka said.
In the current coalition, the tax changes that will be demanded by the Social Democrats will not materialise, Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek, leader of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL, a minor coalition government member) said in reaction to the proposals presented Saturday.
The KDU-CSL wants to insist on its own programme, Belobradek wrote to CTK.
The proposal was also rejected by Finance Minister Andrej Babis, leader of ANO, a member of the coalition member. He argues that the changes will force out successful people and companies from the Czech Republic.
Sobotka also said the CSSD wanted to increase the minimum wage on January 2018 and to ensure a fair growth in the salaries in the civil service.
Earlier this year, the government decided to increase the minimum salary by 1100 crowns to 11,000 crowns a month. The minimum wage is paid to 3.2 percent of employees.
After it is raised, it will account for roughly 38.2 percent of the average salary, which amounted to 27,297 crowns at mid-year.
($1 = 25.588 crowns)

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