Senate meeting – illustrative photo.
Prague – The Senate would probably discuss the reduction in the valuation of pensions next Wednesday, if the House of Representatives approves the relevant government proposal this week. Even in the upper chamber, according to today's statements by representatives of senatorial factions for ČTK, approval of the draft is not guaranteed, even though the parties of the government coalition have a comfortable majority in the Senate.
“It is likely that the proposal will be discussed on March 8,” replied the chairman of the ODS and TOP 09 senatorial club Zdeněk Nytra, whose faction brings together 36 of the 81 senators, to ČTK's question. Even if Nytra will support the proposal, he did not dare to estimate how the vote on the proposal will turn out, if the coalition is able to push it through the House of Representatives.
Similarly, the chairman of the Starostů senatorial club, Jan Sobotka, whose faction is the second largest with 18 members, did not want the result anticipate voting. “I'm sorry, but I don't know. Everything is still being discussed,” he answered when asked whether the Senate could be expected to support the government's proposal.
The government presented a proposal with the aim of limiting the increase of pensions in proportion to the average wage and thereby preventing increased state expenditure. According to the amendment, the average monthly pension would increase from June by 760 crowns instead of the expected 1,770 crowns. According to the explanatory report, the state will save 19.4 billion crowns this year and 33 billion crowns next year.
The Cabinet wants to push through the proposal by March 21, so that it can pay on time, and therefore asked for its accelerated consideration in the legislative state need. The opposition rejects this and has threatened obstruction. He points to the reservations of some constitutional lawyers, with whom even some senators from the government parties agree.
The opposition points to the possible unconstitutionality of the intervention in the June pension increase, when the original entitlement, according to the current legal rules, caused by higher inflation, arose earlier for pensioners. However, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs stated in the explanatory report that, in its opinion, this is not an unreasonable interference with legitimate expectations. According to the ministry, the specific increase only results from the relevant government regulation, and it is not possible to talk about acquired rights until it takes effect.