Czechs Helping Budget With Windfall Tax On Energy Firms, Banks

The Czech Republic imposed its first windfall tax on some of the biggest businesses to help finance energy subsidies without boosting government borrowing.

Lawmakers on Friday approved Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura’s proposal to slap a 60% “tax surcharge” on the main energy companies and banks. The levy will be in place for the next three years and target extraordinary profits caused by surging energy prices and high-interest rates.

“I take no joy from the fact I’m introducing this tax,” Stanjura told the lower chamber of the Czech parliament before the vote. “If circumstances allow, I will be the first to propose abolishing it.”

The bill is a key part of the center-right government’s strategy to ease the impact of the worst cost-of-living crisis in three decades while still trying to wean the country off record pandemic-era budget deficits. After months of deliberations, the five-party ruling coalition agreed to subsidize electricity and natural gas bills, responding to signs of growing frustration among the public and calls for aid from companies.

The windfall tax should bring about $3.4 billion in extra budget revenue next year, according to Finance Ministry calculations. It said the European Union’s energy price caps will result in an additional income of some $610 million in 2023.

Slower Consolidation

Overall, the state will allocate about $8.1 billion next year for various aid measures to households and companies, including energy subsidies, higher pensions, and other welfare payments, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said last week.

The year-old administration has softened its push to curb fiscal deficits because of the economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Still, it plans to cut the budget shortfall to $12 billion next year from the $15.2 billion gap planned for this year.

While the Czech debt load, projected at 42% of gross domestic product this year, remains one of the lowest in the EU, the central bank and a fiscal watchdog have criticized the pace of deficit reductions and urged faster consolidation.

Source

Recent posts

See All
  • Hans Weber
  • May 29, 2024

Norwegian Embassy in Prague

  • Hans Weber
  • May 29, 2024

Embajada de México en la República Checa

  • Hans Weber
  • May 29, 2024

Latvijas vēstniecība Čehijā / Lotyšské velvyslanectví v České republice

Prague Forum Membership

Join us

Be part of building bridges and channels to engage all the international key voices and decision makers living in the Czech Republic.

Become a member

Prague Forum Membership

Join us

    Close