Government to Adjust Policy Statement Soon

Soon, it should be clear where the government will look for cuts in the state budget, but also the basic figures of the planned pension reform. Photo: Prime Minister Petr Fiala,

Prague, Feb 18 (CTK) – The Czech government will approve an adjustment of its policy statement at the end of February and start of March, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) said in his radio programme Answers and Questions from Kramar Villa today.

In April, it should be clear where the government will look for cuts in the state budget, but also the basic figures of the planned pension reform for a discussion in the coalition government of five parties, Fiala said.

The policy statement, austerity measures and pension reform are three large circles on which the government is working now, Fiala said.

First, there will be a revision of the policy statement. It will include an assessment of the realistic character of all aims, their timetable and of previous achievements.

“The adjustment of the policy statement will be approved at the end of February and start of March,” Fiala said.

The government wants to cut the budget deficit by 70 billion crowns next year.

Ministers are intensively working with experts on the austerity measures, Fiala said.

“I presume that in the course of April it will be clear in which direction we will go,” he added.

He stressed that no decision had yet been made and the proposals mentioned in the press had not yet been discussed and approved by the coalition.

Fiala said the government did not want to increase the overall tax burden of citizens.

“But we are thinking of whether the tax system is optimally set and whether it can be simplified. In the consumer tax we can hardly arrive at a fairer principle,” he added.

The pension reform is of major importance if the state wants to ensure that people under 40, too, have a chance for a dignified pension, Fiala.

“It ought to have been done many years ago. Previous governments failed to do this, which is a big mistake,” he added.

The public is supposed to learn the basic figures of the pension reform in April, Fiala said.

“I think it is necessary for us to try and reach agreement with the opposition so that people can be sure that these things will also be valid in the decades to come,” he added.

“We are trying to come up with the best solution that will preserve what I call intergenerational solidarity, has a reasonable social dimension, but is also responsible when it comes to the budget,” Fiala said.

The age at retirement is only one of the parameters that must be put together, he added.

The rise in the age at retirement will affect first the people who will retire in around 2040. “We will not change the age at retirement where it is already set. This means that until 2030, the age at retirement will be gradually increased up to the limit of 65 for all,” Fiala said.

($1 = 22.136 crowns)


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