Coalition partners signal CZK 300 a month pension rise from January
It appears that old-age pensioners in the Czech Republic will be able to look forward to CZK 300 more a month starting from next year. The coalition parties have taken potshots at each other over who can take the credit, though ahead of a vote this week they are in broad agreement on the increase.
Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Social Democrats said his colleagues would back such an increase, which had been proposed by the party’s minister for labour and social affairs, Michaela Marksová.
“In my view this is a more advantageous alternative for pensioners than an average CZK 200 a month increase and a one-off contribution of CZK 1,200. So we support index-linking of CZK 300 crowns. I’m also glad that in recent months the Social Democrats have succeeded in shaping the character of the budget currently being prepared. Because we think that when the economy is going well that people should benefit.”
Minister Marksová shot back that Mr. Babiš had only actually wanted to sanction a CZK 200 increase.
For his part, Mr. Babiš said he had wanted to bring in a CZK 300 rise earlier this year. However, the ANO chief said, the other coalition partners had made that impossible thanks to competing budget demands – and suggested that the Social Democrats were now playacting.
“If the Social Democrats want to play a game today that Mrs. Marksová wants CZK 300, I want CZK 300 too. At the next government meeting I will put forward a change to the budget under which pensioners will actually get CZK 300.”
Petr Fiala of the opposition Civic Democrats told Czech Television that he welcomed the proposed move. But the government still needs to address other issues surrounding pensions, he said.
The coalition partners are expected to discuss the pension increase at a meeting on Wednesday this week.