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December 19, 2017 6:57 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Babis’s Wish List – Policies of Minority Government

By ČTK

Prague, Dec 18 (CTK) – This is a list of the main points of the draft policy statement of the new Czech minority government of Andrej Babis (ANO):

 

Finance and economy

 

– Support for pension and pay rise of selected professions (teachers, workers providing social care).

 

– Abolition of supergross wage, introduction of 19 percent income tax (plus higher 24 percent rate).

 

– Application of 10 percent VAT to more goods and services (meals, draft beer, running water for households).

 

– Electronic registration of sales (EET) not to apply to all entrepreneurs, the level of income has not been set yet.

 

– Support for “working families” through tax reductions.

 

– The country will not accept the euro in near future, mainly in order to maintain its own currency policy and due to the unfinished process of the Czech living standard getting closer to the standard in the euro zone.

 

– To save operation costs, a new administrative compound for government offices is to be built in Prague.

 

– Reform of the operation of the Czech Exports Bank and similar institutions with the aim of supporting small businesspeople and start-ups.

 

Social policy and unemployment

 

– Monthly pensions of people aged over 85 to go up by 1,000 crowns, earlier retirement for physically demanding professions.

 

– An expert commission will prepare a pension reform.

 

– Development of social services for senior citizens and children. Salaries in social services should be comparable with those in healthcare services.

 

– Clear rules for the increase in the minimum wage.

 

– Social insurance paid by employers should be lowered.

 

– Some welfare benefits will not be provided unless certain duties are fulfilled.

 

Digital country

 

– Launch of a “digital revolution” – high-speed Internet available all over the country, interconnection of all state databases, electronic identity for every citizen. All services of the state to be available in one place.

 

– Introduction of a central IT authority for digitisation controlled by a government commissioner subject to the prime minister.

 

– Government will present a clear action plan with deadlines within 100 days.

 

– Introduction of clear rules for services like Uber and Airbnb.

 

– All data created for taxpayers’ money must be promptly released for free.

 

Education, science, research

 

– Salaries of teachers to increase by at least 50 percent by 2021.

 

– Factual and financial revision of inclusive education in order to make it sustainable. The government wants to support both standard and special schools for slow learners.

 

– More lessons of foreign languages, IT and technology knowledge.

 

– More stress on quality at universities, support for selected fields (future doctors, teachers, technicians).

 

– Setting of national priorities in research, support for long-term funding of applied research to increase the country’s ability to compete on the global market.

 

Transport

 

– Speeding up transport construction is the priority, including simplified approval process of projects for the public benefit.

 

– By 2021, 210 km of motorways (110 km new plus 100 km modernised D1), construction of further 180 km of motorway to start.

 

– Use of private public partnership (PPP) projects in building transport infrastructure (pilot project of D4 motorway).

 

– Completion of tender for new form of road toll by 2020. Introduction of electronic motorway stamp.

 

– Open tenders for high-speed train connections, introduction of rail ticket for all railway transport companies.

 

Defence policy and military

 

– Reinforced participation in peacekeeping and training missions in Afghanistan, more troops in Iraq.

 

– NATO membership is crucial, it has no alternative. The government will try to make NATO more involved in tackling migrant crisis.

 

– A gradual increase in defence spending with the aim of reaching 2 percent of GDP in 2024-25.

 

– The military is to get preferably Czech-made equipment and gear.

 

– By 2025, the military is to have at least 30,000 professional soldiers, creation of a third brigade.

 

Interior security

 

– Priority is to stop illegal migration. In cooperation with other EU member countries, the abandonment of the refugee quota system should be achieved. Support for the formation of operative police units trained to defend Schengen area.

 

– Creation of a special cyber force to prevent and fight cyber threats.

 

– Passage of a law on private security agencies.

 

– Introduction of correspondence voting, introduction of a one-round election to the Senate.

 

– Release of all valid contracts of central state bodies and all new contracts signed by state bodies, including CEZ and Ceska posta state-controlled companies.

 

– Introduction of a new law to make public service more open to experts outside the state sector.

 

Law and justice

 

– Introduction of new rules for distraint proceedings and the law on mass legal complaints.

 

– A new law on judges and courts to introduce transparent rules for careers of judges.

 

– More opportunities for people in a debt trap to get rid of their debts, fight against usury.

 

Foreign policy

 

– Foreign policy will be based on NATO and EU memberships and active defence of national interests. EU needs a reform and the Czech Republic should actively contribute to it.

 

– The EU’s task is to protect its external border, fight terrorism and manifestations of radical Islamism and effectively defend itself against cyber attacks.

 

– Migration must be dealt with outside Europe.

 

– In Europe, the government wants to maintain close relations with V4 countries (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia). Diplomacy will focus on reinforcement of partnerships with France and Britain.

 

– In the EU, the government wants to take an active part in discussions about relations with Russia. Relations with China should be balanced and mutually advantageous.

 

– Outside Europe, the key partners are the United States, Israel, Japan and South Korea.

 

– The government maintains the emphasis on non-violation of human rights. It wants to encourage economic diplomacy.

 

Culture

 

– Employees in cultural sphere should have their salaries increased by 50 percent by 2021.

 

– Creation of a general system of competitions for cultural projects paid from public budgets.

 

– Support for “the export of Czech culture.” Tourism agenda will move to Culture Ministry.

 

– The government will fully support the independence of media through the councils for public television, public radio and TV and radio broadcasting.

 

Health care

 

– Drafting a new law on health insurance companies, increasing their responsibility for providing services and increasing the competition. Number of insurance companies may be lowered.

 

– Introduction of central purchases, release of data on financing of the Health Ministry and hospitals it controls.

 

– New law on electronic health care, change in the electronic prescription, no sanctions to be imposed on those who do not use it for 12 months.

 

– More powers for general practitioners, better conditions for young doctors.

 

– Support for prevention, rewarding of patients who take good care of their health, programme of care for chronic patients.

 

Industry and Trade

 

– Easier process of receiving work permits for foreign workers, especially if local people are not interested in the given jobs.

 

– Investment incentives to be provided only in exceptional cases.

 

– Maximum effect from mining of all minerals should remain in the hands of the state. Checking the possibilities of lithium mining by Diamo state company.

 

– The government will prepare construction of new units of nuclear power plants and permanent deep nuclear waste repository.

 

Public investment, regional development

 

– Introduction of new laws on aid to people in need of accommodation and on real estate agencies.

 

– A single office will be responsible for public investment.

 

– The government will create condition for successful and reasonable drawing of EU subsidies within the 2014-2020 budget.

 

Agriculture

 

– The goal is to achieve complete self-sufficiency in the production of the broadest possible spectrum of basic foods and guarantee quality and safe food for people.

 

– Fair attitude in subsidies for plants of various size. The government is against the setting of ceilings on subsidies for medium-sized and big plants, but it will support higher subsidies for small farmers.

 

– Higher payments for livestock farming and sensitive plant commodities (fruits, vegetables, hops, potatoes, sugar beet) at the expense of payments per area.

 

– Lowering the administrative burden for all farmers and food producers, especially small ones.

 

Environment

 

– Support for the construction of smaller water reservoirs in the landscape, new drinking water sources and innovative ways of liquidating waste water.

 

– Introducing a central strong and independent regulatory body for water management.

 

– Protection of arable land, emphasis on recultivation of brownfields.

 

– Financial support for clean mobility (low-emission vehicles and the related infrastructure).

 

Sport

 

– Support for sports and active life style, aiming to improve people’s quality of life and health.

 

– Better preparation of talented youths and national teams, support for facilities for the preparation of top athletes and players.

 

– Passage of new comprehensive law on support for sports. Creation of a central body, led by a commissioner subject to the prime minister, responsible for the state policy for sports.

 

CTK

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