20 May 2019
The Czech government has revealed that it plans to maintain its 40 billion crown central government budget deficit in 2020, keeping to its past target despite recent struggles, Reuters reports.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Monday an economic slowdown was not a cause for concern and that ministries would utilise savings for any necessary expenditures.
Finance Minister Alena Schillerova said that the 2019 target was still able to be reached.
Public finances in the Czech Republic have classified among the European Union’s strongest in the last few years, with a fiscal surplus since 2016. However, the 2020 budget has required the country to turn to savings as a result of a growth slowdown and higher promised spending.
Babis, when speaking at a news conference at the finance ministry, said: "I just want to confirm that the Czech Republic is doing excellent, that we have one of the best results in Europe, ours is one of the most stable economies, there is growth and we continue in decreasing the state debt as measured against GDP (gross domestic product).”
In a Facebook post, Babis also revealed that the state income would grow by around 100 billion crowns next year and a planned digital tax would generate around 5 billion crowns.
He also said that investment spending would increase by 13 billion crowns to 135 billion crowns and child care benefits will rise, costing the budget 8.6 billion crowns.