KSCM Weighs in on 2018 BudgetČTK
Prague, Dec 8 (CTK) – The Czech Communists (KSCM) want more money to be spent on social services, regional education and health as well as repairs of roads to be on the agenda of the debate on the budget bill for 2018 in the Chamber of Deputies, their spokeswoman Helena Grofova told journalists today.
If the plan of the management of state finances is adjusted, the Communists will be ready to support the bill, Grofova said.
The party said in its resolution that the draft, sent to the lower house earlier this week, presumed a minor growth in the collection of taxes, but its authors had refused to “deal with the proposals for a fairer redistribution of the tax burden, especially a progressive taxation of the big business.”
“However, the draft also includes some positive features, such as an increase in the salaries and indexation of vital social expenditures,” Grofova said.
The general concept of the bill, drafted by the outgoing government of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), cannot be changed.
The Communists want to raise salaries in social services, subsidies for the equipment of regional education, finances for the roads and sources in regional hospitals or social protection of children.
On Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies approved the basic pillars of the budget bill. The budget gap is ten billion crowns lower than that projected for 2017 and to fall to 50 billion crowns.
Deputies for TOP 09, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and the Mayors and Independents (STAN) voted against the bill. On the other hand, it was backed by 116 deputies for the coalition government and the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).
The Pirates and Communists abstained from the vote.
Now the deputies can only propose transfers within the budget, not its total framework.
The final approval of the bill is to start on December 18.
The 2018 budget revenues are proposed at 1314.5 billion crowns, the expenditures at 1364.5 billion. The largest budget chapter, more than 588 billion crowns, is traditionally that of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry.
The budget bill is based on the expected 3.1 percent economic growth and a 2.3-percent average rise in consumer prices. The tax revenues are expected to reach some 772 billion crowns.