Assembly of Mayors of Municipal Districts Prague 1 to Prague 22. February 13, 2023, Prague.
Prague – The mayors of Prague's municipal districts are demanding that the capital increase the allowance per pupil to CZK 10,000, i.e. more than double. The reason is high inflation and a lack of money for the so-called state administration. They also demand to strengthen the powers in the management of the Municipal Police (MPP). They also want the municipality to compensate them from 2024 for the loss of income from levies from lotteries and games. Representatives of several town halls told journalists after today's meeting of the Assembly of Mayors. They will send their appeal and demands to the new city management, which should be elected by the Prague representatives on Thursday.
“Boroughs are underfunded today, and at a time when we have inflation of more than 15 percent, when we are faced with constant salary increases, it may happen that we have to reduce the services provided. So we called for an increase in the so-called contribution per pupil and to start solving deficits in state administration performance, when we pay a lot of them, but we don't get the costs we have for them,” said the mayor of Prague 9, Tomáš Portlík (ODS).
According to the mayors, if the funding of the town halls does not change, there is a risk that services will be limited or there will not be enough money to run the schools. “The government has repeatedly raised the salaries of civil servants, but we have never received money from the state budget. That is why we take funds for civil servants from cutting grass, investments and other things. At the same time, our budgets are the same. There is nowhere else to take it,” said Prague 13 Mayor David Vodrážka (ODS). According to him, it may happen that the counter windows will not be open every day, but only one day a week, because the town hall will not have money for the other days.
In Prague, since January 1, 2016, there has been a decree prohibiting the operation of gambling halls, which the Ministry of Finance is gradually canceling in administrative proceedings. All gambling houses should disappear by 2024. In the future, only casinos with so-called live games will be allowed. The town halls will thus lose a total of about one billion crowns annually. Portlík pointed out that the management of Prague promised to make up for this shortfall in recent years. “Today, however, there is no recipe for where the money will come from. If the shortfall is not replaced, there is a risk that the sport will be greatly limited,” said Portlík. According to the mayor of Prague 7, Jan Čižínský (Praha Sobě), the request is not aimed at reconsidering the ban on gambling, but only at compensating for the financial shortfall.
In the case of the MPP, the mayors want to have a greater influence on its management in their territory. The former mayor of Prague 3 and current councilor Jiří Ptáček (TOP 09) said that they can only appeal to the leadership of the MPP to deal with possible problems. The new mayors would like to have influence, for example, on the selection of the director of the district department, remuneration. They would also like, for example, to be able to call on the police officers to tow away a poorly parked car.