Jurečka: The coalition does not change its position on the limitation of valorization, even if the ÚS decides

Jurečka: The coalition does not change its position on the limitation of valorization, even if the ÚS decides

Jurečka: Coalition to limit valorization will not change position, whatever the ÚS decides

Illustration photo – Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) at a press conference after the government meeting in Prague on December 14, 2022.

Prague – The coalition does not change its position on its proposed amendment limiting the June valorization of pensions. He wants to complete the legislative process for its adoption. Deputy Prime Minister and Labor Minister Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) told ČTK today. If, according to him, there are doubts about the standard, let the Constitutional Court decide on them. The opposition movements ANO and SPD want to block the adoption of the law with a reduced extraordinary June addition. According to them, it is unconstitutional, due to deliberation in a state of legislative emergency or due to retroactivity. ANO Vice-Chairman Karel Havlíček said today after meeting with President-elect Petr Pavlo that, according to his impression, even the future head of state perceives the adoption of the amendment as a big risk.

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“I, the government and the coalition want to complete the legislative process on this proposal. We have to realize – and some don't understand that the moment the valorization takes place according to this valorization formula, the effects are not only on this year's budget. But in the next ten years there are the effects amount to more than 600 billion crowns, which we simply do not have covered by pension insurance income. Therefore, the money that will have to be taken is generally from the state budget. Let's put it bluntly: we will have to borrow,” said the minister.

Due to inflation, pensions are to be exceptionally valued from June. According to the documents for the proposal, according to the current rules, the merit percentage part of the pension would increase by 11.5 percent, the average old-age pension would increase by 1,770 crowns. The government proposes to limit the one-time addition and increase the merit component by 2.3 percent and by 400 crowns, the average retirement pension would increase by 760 crowns. Indebtedness would be reduced by 19 billion crowns. Instead of 34.4 billion in additional debt, 15.4 billion CZK would be paid.

The opposition wants to obstruct the implementation of changes in the House of Representatives. The coalition has a majority in both the lower house and the Senate. The president will then receive the standard for signature. Jurečka presented his arguments to Petr Pavl a few days ago, today ANO politicians. According to Havlíček, “it would be an embarrassment” if the Constitutional Court rejected the amendment. “I understand that there are other opinions of the opposition. I understand them from a human and political point of view. If there are doubts, let the Constitutional Court decide on them in the final. When we, as politicians, argue about what is and what is not constitutional, those are our subjective opinions, but this can only be decided by the Constitutional Court,” Jurečka said.

According to ANO representatives, the government should withdraw the amendment and should start negotiating with the opposition on changes to the valuation, which would apply from January. Among the proposals is, for example, a return to the earlier, slower increase in pensions. “It is no longer possible to save anything with any measures – not even by adjusting the valorization scheme for the future. It is simply a permanent expense that will be valorized. Some do not see that in the discussion at all,” added the Minister of Labor.

Norm with limitation the extraordinary June valorizations, after possible approval, should be among the first laws that the new president decides on. The law comes into force with the signature, but also without the signature of the head of state. Pavel can also veto the norm and return it to the deputies, otherwise it would not be accepted.