Government ministers agree on financing for social services

The Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Social Affairs have reached agreement on the source of two billion crowns needed for the social sphere.

The ministries will each provide half a billion from their own reserves and the rest should be covered by EU funds where the Czech Republic can draw 1.5 billion over the next three years.

The resolution of the drawn-out dispute over where the money should come from and whether it would be made available was greeted with relief by the social services which feared they might have to let go as many as 10,000 social workers if the money was not provided.

The overall budget for social services this year is close to 16 billion crowns. The annual expenditures are expected to grow as the population ages.