Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s (ANO) government has paid a record 463
million crowns in bonuses to its members during its six-month existence,
Czech Radio reports.
The ministries and the government office rewarded the secretaries of state, the section leaders and other civil servants. The lion’s share went to officials in the ANO-led Ministry of Finance.
The Cabinet of ex-Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats) paid out some 10 million crowns less in the final six months of his time in office.
The electronic cash register system popularly known as “EET” introduced
to counter the grey economy and tax fraud brought some 12.3 billion crowns
into state coffers last year, Czech Finance Minister Alena Schillerová
(ANO) said on Thursday.
The ministry in September had projected that receipts from the online sales-reporting system would be some 600 million crowns lower, she said. Compared to 2017, last year’s EET revenue increased by 4.4 billion crowns.
The EET system was introduced in stages, starting in December 2016, when it applied only to restaurants and accommodation facilities. As of March 2017, it also became mandatory for wholesalers and retailers.
The planned third and fourth “waves” will affect craftspeople and food producers such as farmers' markets. These are unlikely to take effect until 2020.
Plzeň’s main steelworks company has filed an insolvency petition and
accrued 5 billion crowns in debt, the daily E15 reports. Pilsen Steel saw
its funding from a Russian bank cut off last year.
The steelworks’ largest creditors are both majority controlled by Russian entities – VEB Kapital and Vemex – while ČEZ Prodej, part of the Czech state-controlled utility, is also a major creditor.
Pilsen Steel trade unions say they expect a significant number of the more than 1,000 employees to be laid off and fear salaries may go unpaid.
The average price of new homes sold in Prague reached 101,091 crowns per
square metre by the end of 2018, an increase of 18.6 percent year on year,
a group of developers said on Wednesday.
The number of residential dwellings sold dropped by 9 percent to 5,000 last year, the lowest since 2012, according to data compiled by the developers Trigema, Skanska Reality and Central Group.
The most expensive flats are traditionally in Prague 1 (currently at 198,000 crowns per sqm on average) and in Prague 2 (164,000 crowns per sqm). The most affordable apartments are in Prague 4 and Prague 10, where the average price is 89,000 crowns per sqm.
In terms of price per square metre, smaller flats are more expensive than larger ones, regardless of location, the developers said.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis has confirmed that a government planned tax
reform will have to be postponed until 2021 since the national budget could
not afford the subsequent fall-out in revenues it would bring about. The
opposition parties have criticized the delay.
The proposed tax reform envisages the abolition of the so-called “supergross” tax wage. Instead, the draft amendment introduces a progressive tax rate of 19% for income of up to 1.5 million crowns and 24% for income above this amount. Entrepreneurs, including those claiming expenses as a percentage of income, will be allowed to deduct 75% of social security and health insurance contributions paid.
Trade unionists at Severočeské Doly, a brown coal mining company owned by
state-controlled utility ČEZ, say workers have gone on strike alert over a
pay rise dispute.
A seventh round of collective bargaining held early this week failed to bring an agreement.
The unions are seeking an average pay rise of 2,000 crowns for miners and other workers at Severočeské Doly.
Prague-listed ČEZ has declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations, which began in October.
The average mortgage rate rose to 2.91 percent in December from 2.78
percent the previous month. According to Fincentrum Hypoindex data,
mortgages have risen at the fastest rate in 10 years.
The size of an average mortgage loan grew steadily throughout 2018 to stand at nearly 2.3 million crowns in December.
The number of applicants had surged in September as people sought to get mortgages before tougher lending guidelines set by the Czech National Bank came into effect on October 1.
Under the guidelines, a borrower should not be eligible for a loan which is greater than nine times their annual net income, or need to spend over 45 percent of their monthly net income to service the debt.
Compared to the previous month, unemployment in December rose by three tenths to 3.1 percent, with 231,500 people being out of work, the Czech Labour Office announced on Wednesday. However, unemployment numbers remained the lowest for any December since 1996 and the amount of job offers actually saw an increase.
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