credit: CG/BD

Chamber of Deputies To Discuss Budget Consolidation Package Again This Week

On Wednesday, the house will return to an extraordinary session to approve the government’s consolidation package in its final reading. Credit: CG / BD.

Prague, Oct 9 (CTK) – The lower house of the Czech parliament will this week have another round of discussions over the government’s package of measures to reduce the national deficit, though it is possible that the third reading, which began on 27 September, will again not be completed.

Deputies will meet on Tuesday when the regular October session of the Chamber of Deputies begins. During this session, they are expected to discuss the draft state budget for 2024. Its first reading is due to take place on 25 October.

On Tuesday, the lower house session is due to deal with bills in the second reading. However, Tuesday afternoon, when the sessions begin, is usually filled with opposition motions to add new items to the agenda, which can take many hours to justify.

On Wednesday, the house will return to an extraordinary session to approve the government’s consolidation package in its final reading. The third reading has already taken around ten hours over two session days. The bill is facing criticism from opposition MPs, who are defending their amendments, such as blocking some of the proposed tax increases. The opposition has criticised the government, claiming that the package is merely a large-scale tax increase. Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura (ODS) previously said he would like to have the package approved by mid-October. Fifty more MPs want to speak in the debate before the vote.

The first reading of the state budget is scheduled for 25 October. Before that, the budget committee will discuss the budget bill to make recommendations to MPs on how to approach it. In the first reading, the house approves the basic figures of the budget, including the revenues, the expenditures, the deficit and how it will be settled. These figures cannot be changed in subsequent rounds. The budget also cannot be rejected; it can, in theory, only be returned to the government for reworking. Given the majority of the ruling coalition, Petr Fiala’s government can be expected to pass its second state budget.

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