2021 draft state budget falls one vote short of passing in committee

The lower house of Parliament’s budget committee has rejected the plenary’s recommendation to approve the 2021 draft state budget. Only MPs from Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO party voted in favour of the proposal, which failed to pass by one vote.

In the first reading, the lower house voted in favour of a CZK 320 billion budget deficit. It was supported by President Miloš Zeman and passed with support by ANO, Social Democrat and Communist Party deputies.

Tthe Communists, who have tolerated Babiš’s minority coalition government in exchange for policy concessions, have pushed to transfer money from the Czech Army budget, in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. ANO’s junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats, have argued for boosting the Ministry of Culture budget by 300 million crowns.

Basic budget figures, such as revenue, expenditure and deficit, can no longer be changed by MPs. They can suggest transfers within the budget and similar proposals up until next Wednesday, when the second reading is schedule.

Author: Brian Kenety