Minister proposes end to tax break enjoyed by non-working married people

Photo: Tomáš Adamec / Czech Radio

Tax breaks for married people who don’t have jobs but aren’t looking after anybody at home should be discontinued, says the minister of labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová of the Social Democrats. The change would affect 76,000 people, the news site reported.

Photo: Tomáš Adamec / Czech Radio
However, the minister of finance, ANO appointee Alena Schillerová, has poo-pooed the idea.

Minister Maláčová said on Facebook that said she wanted to see an end to tax breaks for husbands and wives who stayed at home but didn’t take care of children, those with health problems or seniors.

She described such individuals as people who could work but choose not to and asked why the state should give additional pocket money to the wealthy.

The social affairs chief said her officials had calculated that a total of 76,000 recipients got around CZK 25,000 in tax breaks annually, reported.

Axing the benefit could bring an additional CZK 2 billion a year into the state coffers, she said.

This could go toward filling the budget gap left by a new system, due to come in next year, under which the state will itself supply alimony before forcing those responsible to pay up, she said.

The system will cost the state almost CZK 900 million in the first year, above and beyond the actual monies that will be recovered from parents reluctant to hand over alimony, said.

However, Finance Minister Schillerová told the newspaper Právo that her colleague will need to define who specifically would be impacted by the mooted discontinuation of the tax break.

If Ms. Maláčová does not specify what constitutes wealth then the call is mere rhetoric and not deserving of a serious response, the finance minister said.

The right-wing Civic Democrats have slammed the proposal. The party’s Jan Skopeček, who is deputy chair of the lower house’s Budget Committee, said Minister Maláčová seemed to be producing nonsensical, socialist ideas aimed at grabbing people’s money at a rate of about one a week.

Freedom and Direct Democracy boss Tomio Okamura has also come out against the idea.

Minister Maláčová also wants to set minimum alimony of CZK 1,000 a month, wrote. Today some parents provide a lesser amount toward their children’s upbringing.

Under a Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs proposal, single parents will be able to apply for state facilitated alimony if the second parent misses two alimony payments in succession and the parent raising the child launches distraint proceedings against them.