Opposition asked to leave to allow budget approval

The government of ANO and ČSSD still lacks support to approve the 2021 state budget. Voting has been adjourned until Friday, December 18.

The Communist Party - which usually votes with the government - insists that the cabinet transfers 10 billion crowns from the Army's budget to the budget reserve. During the lunch break, which has been extended several times for a total of three hours, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) tried to persuade the Communists to vote with the coalition.

Babiš also asked the opposition parties to leave before the vote, thus allowing approval of the 2021 budget. Members of the opposition have criticized the budget - mainly for not taking into account the currently discussed changes in tax laws, which include the abolition of the super-gross wage and a reduction in income tax. If these changes pass, the budget's revenues would decrease and the final deficit could be much higher than the planned 320 billion.

There have also been talks about the Communist MPs leaving before voting - after that, the government would only need two other MPs to do the same or one MP to vote with the cabinet. Two non-attached MPs have already offered their votes in exchange of a 50% reduction in the financing of political parties.

If the Chamber of Deputies does not approve the 2021 budget before the end of the year, the state will operate on a provisional budget. Each chapter would then receive a maximum of one-twelfth of its total 2020 expenditures per month.