The coalition rejected an extraordinary meeting due to ANO's proposal to freeze politicians' salaries

The coalition rejected an extraordinary meeting due to ANO's proposal to freeze politicians' salaries

Coalition rejects extraordinary meeting over YES proposal to freeze politicians' salaries

Meeting of the Chamber of Deputies – illustrative photo.

Prague – The House of Representatives will not discuss or approve the proposal of the opposition ANO movement to freeze politicians' salaries for five years at an extraordinary meeting. Her program was not supported by the government coalition today, with only one vote missing from adoption. The cabinet intends to present its own solution. ANO wanted to push through its proposal already in the first round of negotiations. The leader of the movement, Andrej Babiš, blamed the government for allowing the salaries of constitutional officials to be increased since the beginning of this year, while pensioners' pensions will be reduced. Changes to the program of the House of Representatives meeting took about two hours. Today, the House of Representatives approved changes to the rules for paying wages to employees for insolvent companies.

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“The government has launched an anti-social policy, now it wants to deprive pensioners of 1,000 crowns every month in pensions,” said Babiš. He calculated that, with regard to the increase in the salaries of constitutional officials, he will receive 96,000 crowns more as an ordinary member of parliament from June to the end of the year, while pensioners will lose an average of 7,000 crowns. “The government does not want to give pensioners 7,000 kroner, and in seven months I will have an increase of 96,000 crowns, which of course I am sending to single mothers, and I consider it scandalous,” said the former prime minister.

“It is immoral that at a time when people's purchasing power is decreasing, one group's salaries are increasing,” the chairman of ANO also said. He blamed the cabinet for “letting inflation run its course”, “saving money on people” and “debting the country at record levels”. Babiš complained that other legislators could do business, while he, as prime minister, had to transfer the Agrofert holding to trust funds.

The discussion of the ANO proposal was supported by the chairman of another opposition movement, the SPD, Tomio Okamura. He pointed out that the coalition did not even allow discussion of a similar SPD proposal to freeze politicians' salaries for four years. According to the parliamentary record, 70 of the 140 members of the opposition and Michael Rataj from the Starostů club voted to approve the program of the meeting, the other members of the government parties abstained from voting. p>

Babiš recalled that the average salary increased to 43,350 crowns per month last year, but real wages fell by 7.5 percentage points. The salaries of top politicians, judges and prosecutors increased by roughly 12.7 percent year-on-year. The salary of an ordinary deputy and senator increased by CZK 11,600 to CZK 102,400 per month. The President receives CZK 341,200, CZK 38,500 more than before. The lowest monthly gross salary of a judge exceeded 100,000 crowns and the lowest salary of a prosecutor exceeded 90,000 crowns. The allowances of politicians and judges also increased.

Babiš calculated the income of a rank-and-file legislator at approximately 155,000 crowns per month, “on average, due to the functions, the reality is closer to 200,000 crowns per month”. According to the chairman of ANO, compensation for food, transport and representation in the range of 53,200 crowns to 72,100 crowns should be added to the salary. MPs also have money for an assistant in the amount of 50,500 crowns per month, for professional and administrative work 25,600 crowns per month, for office rent up to 27,000 crowns per month, allowance for office equipment up to 5,200 crowns per month, for telephone and internet up to 5,000 crowns per month. Together, this represents an average of 108,241 crowns per month, Babiš added.

“Solidarity must apply to everyone, not to the bottom ten million,” said the chairman of ANO. He pointed again to the prices of meals in the parliamentary canteen and called for their increase. “I know you're all going to hate me here, but I don't care,” he said. According to Babiš, it is not normal for MPs to have potato soup costing 12 crowns, lentils 15 or 16 crowns, fried cheese 109 crowns, chopped fried steak 105 crowns and fried pork steak 112 crowns.

YES already submitted the proposal in November 2021 , it has not yet been discussed. ANO therefore requested an extraordinary meeting.

According to the law in force since last year, the salaries of constitutional officials have been based on the average gross monthly nominal wage for the calculated number of employees in the entire economy. Until then, they generally depended on salaries in the non-business sector. Salaries are calculated from the so-called salary base, which is the product of the average salary for the previous year and a coefficient of 2.5.

Changes to the program of the House of Representatives meeting took approximately two hours

Discussions on proposals for adjustments to today's program of the House of Representatives meeting took approximately two hours. The coalition clubs, through the chairman of the ODS faction Mark Benda, vetoed all efforts of the opposition legislators ANO and SPD to include new points. The chairman of the pirate club, Jakub Michálek, already in the morning urged the opposition to exercise restraint, which he justified by the need to approve an amendment to reduce administration in the awarding of public contracts. According to the head of the ANO faction, Alena Schillerová, the opposition will not be silenced and will speak about the problems that she believes are troubling the residents.

The government amendment on public contracts adopts the regulations of the European Union. Michálek warned that if the Czech Republic does not fulfill its obligations, it faces a fine of at least 41 million crowns. “Let's make the working day a working day,” appealed the chairman of the pirate deputies. “Don't couch us here and tell us what to do. You won't shut us up,” Schiller answered him.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and former Minister for Regional Development Klára Dostálová (ANO) believes that the Pirates have themselves to blame for the delay in approving the contract amendment. She drew attention to two, in her opinion, questionable pirate amendments, which relate to contracts for information technology and the possibility of excluding some bidders. Dostálová stated that an agreement regarding these modifications would be a better way than “bombarding each other through the microphone”.

According to the morning information of the chairman Věra Kovářová (STAN), about 25 applications were submitted to the block for changes to the meeting program. Several of them came from opposition MPs with the right to speak first, who were not subject to the five-minute limit for justifying the amendment proposal.

The Chamber of Deputies approved changes to the rules for paying wages for companies in bankruptcy

The Chamber of Deputies today approved changes to the rules for paying wages to employees for companies in insolvency. For example, in order to submit an application and provide money to employees, according to the government amendment, an insolvency proposal will no longer be sufficient, the notification of the initiation of insolvency proceedings will be decisive. The draft, which will now be considered by the senators, is reflected in particular by changes in insolvency law.

The lower chamber included in the amendment, on the proposal of the social committee, the abolition of the compulsory insurance of labor agencies against bankruptcy. According to the justification for the amendment, the problem is not legally operating agencies, but those that do not have a permit and do not meet the conditions of expertise.

“The motive for the adjustment of this area is to achieve optimal and sufficient protection of the rights of employees of an insolvent employer, including the elimination of possible abuse of the given legal regulation,” states the reasoned report of the government amendment. According to the draft, people who had an influence on decision-making in the company and have a substantial stake in it will not be able to apply for money.

Now, under certain conditions, employees of insolvent companies can receive three months' wages from the labor office. The amount may not exceed 1.5 times the national average wage from the previous year. The decisive date is when the creditors filed an insolvency petition or when a moratorium was declared before the initiation of insolvency proceedings. As soon as the labor office becomes aware of the company's insolvency, it posts the information on its official board. After that, workers can apply for money within five months and 15 days.

The amendment does not change the deadline. But it modifies its beginning. Newly, according to the draft, people will be able to start applying for money after the notice of initiation of insolvency proceedings appears in the register and is published by the labor office.

If the applicant had already received severance pay or other compensation, the labor office would deducted from the amount paid. The recipient would have to return the extra money. According to the amendment, agency workers will also be able to apply for payment of owed earnings, if they have not already received it from insurance.