President Miloš Zeman has signed legislation enabling the state to tax
church restitutions, according to an official press release from Prague
Castle. Communist deputies say the highly controversial law, which had to
go through a second vote in the Chamber of Deputies in late April after it
was vetoed in the upper-house, could retain CZK 380 million from the annual
CZK 2 billion pay-outs the state has pledged to undertake until 2030.
Opposition parties including the Mayors and Independents and the Christian Democrats are planning to issue a complaint to the Constitutional Court, which they hope will invalidate the legislation.
The Bank Board of the Czech National Bank raised its basic interest rate to
2 percent, an increase of 0.25 percent, the Czech News Agency reports. It
is the first rise since November 2018 and interest rates are now at their
highest in the past 10 years.
Analysts told the Czech News Agency the increase is mainly due to developments in the country’s economy, with inflation rates rising above predictions in the first quarter of 2019 and the exchange rate for the Czech crown weaker than the bank predicted in February.
The bank has also decided to go ahead with 0.25 percent raises in the Lombard rate, which deals with short-term liquidity loans to commercial banks and the discount rate.
Raising the minimum wage tends to have a knock-on effect of higher unemployment. However, repeated increases in the minimum wage in the Czech Republic over the last few years have not that impact, suggests a new study published by the think tank IDEA, which is part of the economics institute CERGE-EI.
The Czech government wants to impose a seven-percent tax on large digital
companies, such as Facebook and Google. Under the plan, agreed by the
cabinet on Tuesday, the multinational companies would have to pay taxes in
the place they make earnings.
The cabinet is hoping the move could lead to increased revenues of around five billion crowns a year. The Ministry of Finance is due to draft a digital tax bill by the end of May.
The growth in apartment prices in the Czech Republic is expected to come to
a halt this year, according to a survey carried out by the Association of
Real Estate Market Development, released on Tuesday.
Last year, prices of apartments across the country increased on average from six to ten percent. The highest growth rate was recorded in Prague. In the first quarter of 2019, the price of new flats increased by nearly a fifth year-on-year to 104,666 crowns per square metre. Since the mid-2015, prices of Prague apartments grew by nearly 90 percent.
Česká spořitelna, the second biggest player on the Czech mortgage market, is planning to launch a special type of housing loan under which up to 90 percent of the value of a property may be borrowed, the news site iHned.cz reported on Friday. The condition would be that customers be first-time buyers.
A controversial proposal to tax money paid to religious groups in compensation for property seized under Communism is a step closer to becoming law. In their first session since the Easter holiday, MPs on Tuesday overrode a veto by the Senate to tax the restitution income of 16 Czech churches and a Jewish federation.
The Czech government aims to obtain much more revenue in taxation from the likes of Google and Facebook, Hospodářské noviny reported on Thursday. Under a planned new digital tax scheme, the huge multinationals would be forced to pay taxes in the place they make earnings, in this case the Czech Republic, the business daily said.
Nearly a third of Czech households saw their financial wealth grow last year, a study published by GfK reveals. The market researcher’s director, Tomáš Drtina, told journalists at a press conference that this was the largest wealth increase since the study began to be conducted more than twenty years ago. Households expect their income to continue growing in 2019 as well.
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