Illustrative photo – Senate meeting on the government's amendment to the pandemic law, February 10, 2022 in Prague.
Prague – The government's proposal for a controversial reduction in the June valorization of pensions will be the main point of today's Senate meeting. Senate committees did not support the proposal, whose goal is to reduce state spending in the order of tens to hundreds of billions of crowns, mainly because of its accelerated approval by the House of Representatives.
The Constitutional and Legal Committee recommended rejection of the amendment by the narrowest majority. The social committee had the same number of members to approve the draft as to reject it. No senator proposed any amendments. The current majority in the upper chamber will thus decide the fate of the amendment. If the Senate did not approve the bill, its timely adoption by March 22 would seriously jeopardize it.
The amendment assumes that the average monthly pension would increase from June by 760 crowns instead of the expected 1,770 crowns due to inflation. The state would thus give an extra 15 billion crowns for the reduced June valuation. If the amendment were not approved, according to the government, state budget spending on pensions would increase by 34.4 billion crowns this year and gradually increase to a total of 300 billion crowns in the following years.
The Senate, on the other hand, will probably approve the change without modifications in the rules for supporting Ukrainian refugees against Russian aggression, as the committees recommended to him. Among other things, the amendment proposed by the government, which is called lex Ukraine, is supposed to tighten the conditions for entitlement to a humanitarian benefit from July. The new rules will get the payment of the so-called solidarity allowance for accommodation of Ukrainians with temporary protection in households and free emergency accommodation. According to the government, the changes are intended to increase the share of Ukrainians in covering living expenses and contribute to their integration into society. As of April, the amendment will transfer the assistance centers for assistance to Ukraine from the regions to the Ministry of the Interior and legislate the registration of all employment agreements of Ukrainian refugees.