published: 06.12.2013, 16:26 | updated: 06.12.2013 16:31:02
Prague - The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, passed the basic parameters of the state budget for 2014, that is its expenditures, revenues and a deficit of 112 billion crowns, which is 12 billion more than in 2013, in the first reading today.
Deputies cannot change the basic parameters after today´s vote.
The final approval of the budget is expected in two weeks.
The outgoing caretaker government of Jiri Rusnok today succeeded in sending the draft budget to the second reading in which it would probably be modified.
The 2014 budget bill was supported by 133 deputies, mainly from the future government coalition parties - the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), as well as the Communists (KSCM) and one MP for the Dawn of Direct Democracy.
The former government parties, the Civic Democrats (ODS) and TOP 09, voted against it.
TOP 09 failed to push through its proposal for the deficit´s decrease to maximally 105 billion, which the previous coalition cabinet of Petr Necas (ODS) proposed.
Former finance minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) in his criticism of the draft budget said the Rusnok government had increased the expenditures without justifying this step. He called the proposed expenditures unnecessarily exorbitant.
Kalousek blamed his successor Jan Fischer for having raised the estimated GDP from 0.8 to 1.3 percent under the pressure of other government members to gain money for the spendings.
Rusnok defended his cabinet and rejected Kalousek´s criticism.
Fischer said the estimated 1.3 percent growth is conservative.
The Communists, too, criticised the draft budget. It lacks a sufficient pro-growth measures, KSCM deputy Jiri Dolejs said.
Dawn deputy group head Radim Fiala also challenged the 2014 budget, adding that it is based on an illusory economic growth. He, however, admitted that there were only two options, either a stop-gap budget or changes to it in second reading.
The 2014 budget counts with revenues at 1,093 billion crowns, which si 18.5 billion more than this year. Expenditures are to rise by 30.5 billion to 1,211.3 billion crowns.
The government plans to issue bonds worth 114 billion crowns over the proposed 112-billion-crown deficit.
The lower house committees are to decide on the 2014 budget chapters next week.
The second reading, in which MP can propose changes to particular chapters, is tis trat on December 16.
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