Czech Republic

Government survives confidence vote passes tax bills


Prime Minister Petr Nečas and his Cabinet survived a confidence vote and managed to pass two pieces of controversial legislation yesterday.

Despite having just 99 votes in the 200 seat parliament the government was able to pass bills that will raise Value Added Tax (VAT) and incomes taxes in a measure designed to reduce the country’s budget deficit.

The vote had been in danger of failing because six members of the major coalition party, the Civic Democrats (ODS) had threatened to vote against. In the end their objections were dropped and they voted with the government, giving the minority government some breathing space but still in danger of another confidence vote from the opposition.

The tax package will raise VAT by 1% next year to 15% and 21% and a 7% solidarity tax will be paid by those earning more than 100,000 Kč per month.

The package still has to be approved by the upper house, the Senate and by President Václav Klaus.

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