The government approved the draft state budget for 2023, it also proposes to simplify the creation of small solar power plants

The government of Petr Fiala will submit to the Chamber of Deputies a draft state budget for 2023 with a deficit of 295 billion crowns. It plans to gradually reduce it in the next two years. At the meeting on Monday, September 26, 2022, the cabinet also approved amendments to the Energy and Construction Act, which are intended to fundamentally simplify the creation of small solar power plants with a capacity of up to 50 kW. He also decided on the amount of pensions from January 1, 2023.

Draft law on the state budget of the Czech Republic for 2023a deficit of 295 billion crowns is calculated. Compared to the original proposal, there were adjustments on the income and expenditure side, which mainly included the government’s latest steps in the fight against the energy crisis and its consequences for households and companies. On the expenditure side, the biggest changes are the estimated expenses for capping power electricity prices at CZK 6/kWh including VAT and gas prices at CZK 3/kWh including VAT for small customers, the costs of waiving fees for renewable sources for households and companies, increasing the salaries of employees in public sector or regular and extraordinary increases in pensions. On the revenue side of the budget, on the other hand, the government is counting on revenues from the upcoming windfall tax and from the levy of one hundred percent of revenues from the sale of electricity above 180 euros per megawatt hour, which is the result of capping energy prices as proposed by the European Commission.

“The main tasks of this budget are to help citizens and companies manage the energy crisis. At the same time, we want to strengthen the defense capability of the Czech Republic and, of course, maintain or increase the pace of construction of transport infrastructure and take into account other priorities that the government has even in these difficult times. Due to the current rise in prices and other effects of the economic war waged by Russia against the West, we have set aside more than 200 billion crowns to help citizens and companies in the next year as part of this government priority. For example, we expect to spend over one hundred billion kroner to cap high energy prices, forty to fifty billion to extraordinary valorization of pensions, seventeen billion to waive fees for renewable energy sources, another billion to contribute to the housing allowance, etc.,” summed up Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

Details on the draft state budget can be found in the press release of the Ministry of Finance .

The government also approved the budget proposals of the State Investment Support Fund , the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic and the State Transport Infrastructure Fund for the year 2023 and their medium-term outlook for the next two years. ” Another priority is investment in transport infrastructure, in new highways, roads, railways and their repairs. Therefore, compared to the original proposal, we increased the budget of the Ministry of Transport by thirty billion. The budget of the State Transport Infrastructure Fund will thus have a record amount of 150 billion crowns ,” said the Prime Minister.

The government also decided on the temporary introduction of protection of the internal borders of the Czech Republic with the Slovak Republic. The reason is the fundamental increase in illegal secondary migration, when all other alternative tools to ensure public order and security have already been exhausted. Increased security for one week will be provided by members of the Customs Administration together with the Police of the Czech Republic.

“In order to avoid complications associated with the risk of increased illegal migration, we have decided to temporarily restore control at the state border with Slovakia. The government has decided that this precautionary measure will be in effect from midnight Wednesday to Thursday for as long as necessary. At the same time, I would like to emphasize that the security situation in the Czech Republic is stable. The vast majority of these illegal migrants understand the Czech Republic only as a transit country, they do not stay here, but we have to take this preventive measure in order to deal with the situation in the long term and to discourage illegal migrants from using this route,” explained Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

The Cabinet will also send to Parliament the promised amendment to the Energy and Construction Act , which is intended to significantly facilitate the construction and installation of new small solar power plants. According to the proposal prepared by the government, it will be possible to install solar power plants up to 50 kW instead of the existing 10 kW without a license from the Energy Regulatory Office. In the same way, the limit in the Building Act will be moved to 50 kW, up to which it is not necessary to obtain a decision on the location of the building and zoning approval for solar power plants located in a built-up area or in a buildable area. Installations of up to 50 kW on existing buildings will no longer require a building permit or notification to the building authority.

As part of the austerity measures announced in the upcoming heating season, the government has also amended the government regulation establishing the conditions for health protection at work . As a result of the energy crisis and limited supplies of natural gas, it decided to reduce the limit for the minimum temperature from 20 to 18 °C in non-outdoor workplaces with unmaintained temperatures that are naturally ventilated, in workplaces where combined or forced ventilation is used for ventilation, and in workplaces with maintained temperature as a technological requirement. For example, in workplaces where employees work lightly manually with their hands while sitting, the limit for the minimum temperature will be reduced from 18 to 16 °C.

Ministers also discussed the government regulation setting the amount of pensions in 2023 . Based on legally established parameters based on data from the Czech Statistical Office, pensions will increase by 821 crowns from January 2023. The amount of the average pension paid should thus rise to 19,500 crowns from the New Year. Surcharges will also increase by 5.1 percent.

As of October 1, foster care allowances will increase . The government approved the amendment of the relevant regulation. The allowance to pay for the child’s needs will increase by 27 percent up to 12,575 crowns depending on age and degree of dependency, the allowance for adopting a child will increase by 35 percent up to 13,500 crowns and the care allowance will then rise by 15 percent and will amount to 17,250 crowns per month for a recurring contribution and 28,750 crowns for a one-off contribution.

More about the valorization of pensions and the increase in allowances for foster parents and children from substitute care in the press release of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs .

The government also discussed and approved the procedure for the delivery of Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Army of the Czech Republic . Fifteen Leopard 2A4 tanks are donated to the Czech Republic by the Federal Republic of Germany as a result of an agreement between Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Tanks worth approximately 3.85 billion crowns will be handed over to the Czech Republic by the German company Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH on the basis of two bilateral documents, which will be signed by the Minister of Defense Jana Černochová on behalf of the Czech side with the authority of the government. Germany donated tanks to the Czech Republic as compensation for Soviet-made tanks that the Czech Republic donated to the defense of Ukraine against Russian aggression.

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