Children are playing in the kindergarten. Illustrative photo.
Prague – The proposal of the opposition movement ANO to increase the parental allowance by a third was not discussed today by the deputies in the opening round. The House of Representatives rejected the draft agenda of the meeting for the growth of parents convened at the initiative of the movement. Its action was not supported by the coalition legislators, as was expected. The opposition tried to push for an increase in the benefit for parents with small children last year, but failed.
“We would like to appeal to the government coalition to face the increase, so far they are only making promises,” said Aleš Juchelka for the ANO club in the debate on the draft agenda of the meeting. The bill envisages an increase in the total amount of the allowance by 100,000 crowns to 400,000 crowns. According to Juchelka, it would be possible to discuss an increase of 60,000 crowns or 50,000 crowns. He pointed out that the proposal of the opposition movement responded to the current higher level of price increases.
The increase in the allowance was supported at the plenary session by SPD chairman Tomio Okamura, who also highlighted its proposed regular valorization. According to him, families with the smallest children would not be exposed to the “indifference and arrogance of antisocial governments”. An amendment by SPD deputies has been in the House of Representatives for a long time, which would increase the total parental allowance to 360,000 crowns and would also introduce its regular increase.
“The debate in the coalition is ongoing,” noted the pirate deputy speaker of the Chamber, Olga Richterová, who mentioned a possible increase in the allowance by 60,000 crowns or 50,000 crowns. However, according to her, the predictability of the total amount that the valorization mechanism would bring is important. According to Richter, the state should also, among other things, guarantee places in pre-school facilities. “The fact did not escape,” commented the opposition's accusations against the government of Pavel Pivoňka Vaňková for the STAN club. He considers the proposal of the ANO movement to be fiscally irresponsible. According to Pivoňa Vaňková, when there is an agreement in the coalition on proposals to support families with young children, its representatives will consult with the opposition.
The excused Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) has recently repeated several times that he wants to negotiate an increase in parental leave in a coalition. In his opinion, it should increase already this year. The government's National Economic Council and other experts recommend shortening the current parental leave to four years.
In the middle of last year, the Chamber of Deputies refused to add the ANO MPs' amendment on the increase of the parental allowance to the government proposal, which in particular simplified the conditions for the housing allowance. At that time, she dealt with the efforts of the opposition movement SPD in the same way. The ANO movement then pushed for the discussion of its proposal for an increase in parental leave at an extraordinary meeting in mid-December. The House did not approve the draft of her program just like today.