Parents who want to receive a higher monthly parental allowance from January can change their allowance until the end of the month. The photo from January 6, 2020 shows application forms for parental allowance at the Employment Office in Ostrava.
Prague – Most of the coalition parties are in favor of the increase. It is not yet clear how the total amount could be adjusted and from when. Deputy Speaker of the Chamber Olga Richterová (Pirates) told journalists today. The pirates are pushing for not only raising the allowance, but also regular valorization. Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) said at a press conference after the cabinet meeting that he would submit a proposal for an increase in the parental allowance. He added that there must be agreement on it in the coalition and it must be “in the context” of planned steps to restore budgets. The National Budget Council (NRR) and the National Economic Council of the Government (NERV) warn against further increases in spending.
“I clearly said that I will present a proposal to adjust and increase the parental allowance in the future. I said that there must be coalition agreement on this. I want that agreement to be in the near future. At the same time, it must take place in the context of the proposals by which we want to give a clear timetable how to stabilize the budget and the deficit both on the expenditure and income side,” said Jurečka. According to him, the date of the increase is not yet clear. “For myself, I would like it to be as soon as possible,” said Jurečka. Coalition leaders will discuss the proposals next week.
According to Richter, most of the coalition parties agree on adding 50,000 crowns to 350,000 crowns. The pirates propose to link the parental allowance directly to the average wage. According to them, the total dose should correspond to its nine, ten or eleven times. Now, according to the proposal, it would rise from 300,000 crowns to approximately 340,000 crowns, 378,000 crowns or 416,000 crowns. This corresponds to an increase of 14, 26 or 39 percent. The average earnings that were paid two years before the birth of the child would be chosen for the calculation. Parents who were already receiving the benefit at the time of the increase would have the unused amount adjusted by the given percentage.
According to the vice-chairman of the governing ODS, Martin Kupka, the coalition is discussing a possible increase in parental leave. “We have to put it (increase in parental leave) together with all the other requirements and recommendations of NERV, in order to be able to agree and explain to the public a set of steps that will be beneficial, bearable and at the same time ensure responsible management of the state with a smaller deficit. We aim to be able to to slow down inflation. A larger deficit means further complications and encouraging inflation,” Kupka pointed out.
Last year, the state paid out over 33 billion crowns in parental allowances. According to Richter, an addition of 10,000 crowns represents roughly a billion crowns. If the parental allowance were to increase by 50,000 crowns, it would cost about five billion crowns more per year.
The increase in the benefit would be for the debt. NRR warns against the introduction of further valuations, increasing expenses and deepening deficits. NERV recommends shortening parental leave. He points out that the Czech Republic has a long period of parental leave compared to other countries. She advises significantly increasing the availability of nurseries and crèches.
According to Richter, strengthening the capacities of nurseries and children's groups is necessary. Parents of young children will be able to start working, the state will get money from taxes and levies, and spending on benefits will decrease, mentioned the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. The offer of other services should also be expanded, such as neighborhood watch. There is an amendment that the Ministry of Labor is going to present soon to amend this.