Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ cabinet approved the 2020 draft budget on Monday, just hours after trade union leaders and employers expressed support for it. The compromise proposal which respects a 40 billion crown deficit ceiling should see more money spent on pensions, social services, teachers’ wages, parental benefits as well as research, sport and investments.
The lower house has approved a bill extending the law on electronic cash
registers, in other words a duty to report sales electronically, to a
category of firms that are not yet subject to it, among others to
craftsmen, doctors, lawyers, hairdressers and taxi drivers.
The amendment will allow small businesses with sales of up to 600,000 crowns to record sales in off-line mode using paper receipts. At the same time some services and goods, such as, catering, cleaning services or home care will move to the lowest 10% VAT rate.
Opposition parties, which have criticized the law as a bureaucratic burden on entrepreneurs are preparing to file a complaint against it at the Constitutional Court.
The law on electronic cash registers was introduced in 2016 to counter the grey economy and tax fraud. Prime Minister Babiš claims it has brought results and increased state revenues.
The sharp rise in apartment prices in major Czech cities in recent years combined with stricter mortgage conditions have led more people to rent, with a study by consultants KPMG quoted by Hospodářské noviny finding that the number of rental properties on the market has fallen by a third in only two years.
Czech businesses are still struggling to find workers, the news site Ihned.cz reports. In August, labour offices in the Czech Republic posted more than 350,000 vacancies, which is the highest figure in the country’s history, the website wrote. The biggest demand is for construction workers, warehousemen, or truck drivers.
Czech state-controlled utility ČEZ has announced a September 25 deadline
for potential buyers of its Romanian assets to register their interest. The
move is in line with the company’s strategy to exit foreign markets,
including Bulgaria, Turkey and Poland.
In total, ČEZ is considering seven companies in Romania, keeping only companies engaged in modern energy services (ESCo) and trading activity. ČEZ will later issue a call for non-binding tenders from registered potential buyers.
The utility expects to earn tens of billions of crowns from the sales, which it will invest largely into renewable energies.
Unemployment held steady at 2.7 percent in August, according to Labour
Office data published on Monday. In Prague, the unemployment rate remained
at 2 percent.
Fewer than 205,000 people in the country were seeking work last month, the lowest number for the month of August since 1996.
The overall number of jobseekers is expected to rise slightly in September, mainly due the entry into the labour market of a large number of school-leavers.
The Finance Ministry has sent the government a proposal to introduce a 7%
digital tax for large Internet companies such as Facebook and Google as of
mid-2020. According to the ministry the tax could bring approximately five
billion crowns to state coffers annually.
The proposed tax would concern internet companies with a global turnover of over € 750 million (CZK 19.1 billion), and an annual turnover of at least CZK 50 million for taxable services in the Czech Republic. Some digital economy platforms, such as Airbnb and Uber, would also be taxable.
The ministry’s proposal is based on a draft prepared by the European Commission, which however failed to win approval in the European Parliament.
Czechs living in rented homes spend more than homeowners, according to a study by the Partners consulting agency, presented on Wednesday. On average, Czechs renting a home pay 1800 crowns a month more than those who own their home. At the same time, flats are rented mostly by people with lower income.
The draft state budget for 2020 that the Ministry of Finance forwarded to
the government at the end of last week anticipated both revenues and
expenditures some CZK 20 billion higher than figures approved at the end of
June. However, the planned deficit of CZK 40 billion is not affected by
this, the minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, told Czech Television.
The minister said the increased revenues and expenditures were due to a change in the macro-economic indicators.
Prices in the Czech Republic have almost tripled since the foundation of
the state in 1993, according to a new analysis produced by Raiffeisenbank.
The Czech crown has strengthened by roughly a quarter in the same period,
the study found.
Raiffeisenbank analyst Helena Horská told the Czech News Agency that if somebody had placed CZK 100 under their pillow in 1993 it would today get them around a third of the goods it would have then.
However, if they wished to spend the same sum abroad they could buy a similar amount as today, because prices abroad have grown at roughly the same tempo as the crown has strengthened, she said.
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