Controversial tax bill did not pass in the lower house
The lower house did not pass the controversial tax bill late on Wednesday, with only 94 MPs voting for the government’s stabilisation package. The coalition needed 101 votes, but six Civic Democratic deputies and one deputy from the Public Affairs party voted against the bill together with the opposition. The Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek had announced earlier on Wednesday that he will resubmit the exact same proposal to the government on Thursday if the bill is rejected, so it can be voted on again. While Prime Minister Petr Nečas had previous announced on Tuesday that he will link a vote of confidence for his government to the repeat vote on the bill.
The rejected bill proposed a raise in VAT of one percentage point, as well as other measure including higher taxes for individuals making over 100 thousand crowns per month. This is one of the measures that was meant to help lower the deficit, which the current coalition government has set as one of its main goals. The bill was passed by the lower house once already, but was voted down in the Senate, after which it came back to the Chamber of Deputies.