Will PM Babis Honor His Promises?
The government of Andrei Babiš approved the program statement. It plans to increase investment, intensify the completion of the motorway network and put emphasis on digitization. He wants to cooperate with the European Union and NATO in foreign policy. What else can be read from the document?
The Minority Government of the ANO movement has already sent the program statement to individual parliamentary parties. The support will begin with the representatives of the KDU-CSL and ODS. The vote on trust was scheduled for January 10th.
The government will want to simplify and electronize the tax system. It undertakes to increase investments and salaries in selected professions. These include educators or social workers. The aim is also to cancel superhuman wages. New income tax should be based on gross wages and would be 19 percent.
The Cabinet also returned to the proposal for a reduction in value added tax. It should be for example for beer, cut flowers or water and sewage. The government wants to evaluate the functioning of the electronic revenue register system. Alternatively, suggest changes.
In addition to raising pensions, the government plans to improve the living conditions of seniors and prevent their discrimination in any form of access to work, education or leisure activities and public life. The basic amount of the pension should be increased to ten percent of the average wage.
A professional pension reform team should be set up to review existing proposals. The government also wants to introduce a system of predictable minimum wage growth.
Babis’s cabinet comes with the Digital Czech project. The area places great emphasis on the area. The basic point is the full coverage of the country by high-speed Internet. The Law on the Right to Internet also wants to be enforced.
The government plans to establish a central IT authority position that would create standards and coordinate individual activities. In the first 100 days, it wants to create an action plan with clear deadlines when the agenda of the individual ministries and government offices will be involved in the Digital Czech Republic.
Foreign Policy and Defense
The program statement emphasizes the orientation towards the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance. The government believes it will be able to increase its defense spending so that in 2024 or 2025 it will reach two percent of GDP as the Czech Republic pledged to join NATO. It plans to strengthen its participation in missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and would like to involve the North Atlantic Alliance in addressing the migration crisis.
The document also mentions the fight against cyber threats, the need for EU reform, rejects the adoption of the euro, and demands that Member States continue to decide on the admission of refugees. There is a courageous stance on promoting the gradual integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.
The government promises more intensive completion of the motorway network. By 2021, 210 km of motorways are to be put into operation. Of these, 110 would be new and one hundred would fit into the reconstructed sections D1. It should also be easier to exchange driving licenses and to repair some of the railway stations.
In the area of education, the cabinet is setting the salaries of teachers. Within four years, he would like to see them at 150 percent of the present value. The plan also includes a review of the inclusion and reinforcement of the position of school heads. They should work more like managers.