Extraordinary meeting of the House of Representatives on the proposal to limit the extraordinary June valorization of pensions, February 28, 2023, Prague. From the left, Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka and Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan.
Prague – Today at 09:00, the Chamber of Deputies formally opened the fourth day of the meeting on the controversial government proposal to reduce the June valorization of pensions, which the opposition is still obstructing today. She prepared 400 of her own amendments to the controversial government amendment. The number of people registered for the debate decreased from the night to 34 from the original 64. In the morning, representatives of ANO used the preferential right to speak for about half an hour.
The meeting of the lower parliamentary chamber started on Tuesday at 10:00. It now lasts 71 hours, including breaks. The meeting itself takes about 54 hours. “We may even have a nice weekend together,” said Alena Schillerová, chairperson of ANO deputies, regarding the possible length of the next meeting.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and ANO Karel Havlíček pointed to the threat of annulment of the government amendment by the Constitutional Court, to which the opposition wants to turn if the proposal is adopted, and to the need to pay pensioners retroactively. Havlíček recalled the rise in food prices. “We made one big topic this week, and that is lečo. You made lečo a luxury food,” Havlíček reproached the coalition. He admitted that this was an exaggeration and that crop failures in Africa and bird flu contributed to the high prices of vegetables and eggs. But according to Havlíček, the coalition behaved arrogantly. “You've sent a message to pensioners that only an idiot wants to cook lecho in the winter,” he said.
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Klára Dostálová (ANO) blamed the government coalition for limiting the opposition's rights to comment on one of the most important laws that the House is discussing this year, which is supposed to save the state 20 billion crowns. According to her, the government fills the treasury with the money of senior citizens. “We are not talking about units of people who will be affected by this. We are talking about millions of people,” she emphasized.
The government amendment assumes that the average monthly pension will increase by 760 crowns from June instead of the expected 1,770 crowns , as it would be according to the currently valid legal rules. According to the explanatory report, the state will save 19.4 billion crowns this year and 33 billion crowns next year. Otherwise, according to the government, the ratio of pensions to the average wage would increase, which would disproportionately burden the state treasury .