In addition to the announced help – for example, a contribution of 5,000 crowns for children – or already implemented help – increase the living and subsistence minimum – Minister Jurečka also promised to submit a proposal to increase social support for the disabled, more support for more flexible working hours.
The government has already increased its subsistence level by ten percent this year, effective April 1. However, inflation was higher during the period under review. Jurečka said today that the minimum should rise by about five percent from July 1, he did not rule out a further increase in the second half of the year. The Minister is also preparing to adjust housing benefits, he also mentioned a possible increase in parental benefits, which now amounts to 300,000 crowns. According to Jurečka, more than 85 billion crowns will go from the budget to help families, the disabled and the needy this year alone.
The chairwoman of the ANO parliamentary group, Alena Schillerová, accused the government of the Czech Television for not increasing the living and subsistence minimum by twenty percent in April, but otherwise she agrees with the proposal. “It’s a step in the right direction,” she added.
“The whole of Putin’s aggression is affecting the standard of living not only in the Czech Republic, but all over the world,” said Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the one-and-a-half-year-long exemption granted by the EU to the Czech Republic regarding the ban on Russian oil imports is now being used.
Alena Schillerová reminded that the Czech Republic has historically privatized the vast majority of companies and infrastructure, which could now be used to replace Russian oil. According to her, the state and therefore the government have no other tools than ČEZ, and even here it is not a 100% owner.
“We cannot accept that we will tell people: We will add a little more to your survival, “said Vít Samek, vice-president of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS), the largest trade union headquarters in the country. According to him, the basic debate is the level of the average and minimum wage. If people have decent salaries, they will not need to receive social benefits, Samek said. According to the former Minister of Finance, the minimum wage must be increased by at least inflation.
The minimum wage is now 16,200 crowns. and the increase in the amount for employees with the lowest wage by CZK 2,000 to CZK 18,200 is demanded by the CMKOS due to inflation. Prime Minister Petr Fiala has previously said that minimum wage growth would be irresponsible. The Minister of Industry and Trade, Jozef Síkela (for STAN), also opposed it, pointing to the burden on companies and trade.
According to him, Minister Jurečka did not rule out an increase in the minimum wage; according to him, the possible increase will be debated at the June tripartite meeting, ie representatives of the government, employers and trade unions. Nevertheless, the complete basis of social peace in the Czech Republic, according to Jurečka, is for people to have a job at all.
Without securing sufficient gas supplies for Czech industry, which is currently highly dependent on consumption from Russia, the low unemployment we have become accustomed to in recent years is in jeopardy, according to the Minister. According to him, the increase in the minimum wage is also linked to other parameters, which would also have to rise.
The subsistence level for an adult alone is now 4,250 crowns. According to the law, the government can increase the subsistence minimum in due time from January, if the cost of maintenance and basic personal needs increase by at least five percent in the observed period. However, it can also increase the amounts extraordinarily.
Overall, Jurečka estimates that the state’s economy will end with a deficit of around 300 billion crowns. The now approved budget deficit assumes a deficit of 280 billion crowns.