Housing benefits are likely to rise due to the price of energy, the House approved

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2022-01-12   10:35

Housing allowances are likely to increase due to a sharp rise in energy prices. In addition, a wider circle of people will reach the benefits. This is assumed by the government's amendment on state social support, which was approved by the Chamber of Deputies today with a change in a state of legislative emergency. The draft also empowers the cabinet to decide on further dose increases this year should electricity and gas prices continue to rise. The amendment will now go to the Senate for consideration.

188 of the 189 deputies present raised their hands for the draft. No one was against it. According to the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL), the approval should proceed so that it is published in the collection in January.

The chairwoman of the ANO opposition club, Alena Schillerová, pointed out that the draft was based on a proposal by the former cabinet of Andrej Babiš (ANO). "Enlargement has taken place in the right direction," she said. However, YES MPs criticized the new government of Petr Fiala (ODS) for withdrawing three other drafts of its predecessor to rising energy prices from the Chamber of Deputies. It was the introduction of a zero rate of value added tax on the supply of electricity and gas and other area support. "Many people simply will not go to the labor office," said Jana Mračková, vice-president of the lower house, (YES).

Jan Jakob, the chairman of the TOP 09 coalition club, praised the current government's solution. "The help is clear, targeted, targeted," he said.

The head of the SPD opposition faction, Radim Fiala, sees a "euro-green policy" behind rising energy prices. He warned that prices would continue to rise if the Czechia did not back down from this policy.

The so-called normative costs, from which the housing allowance is calculated, increase the amendment one-off depending on the number of persons in the household and the type of housing by approximately 1,100 to 2,100 crowns. Subtenants could now also receive support. The Chamber of Deputies wants to give it to the owners of recreational facilities who live permanently in it this year, at the suggestion of Vít Kaňkovský (KDU-ČSL). The norm should have the same as apartment owners. However, their recreational buildings would have to meet certain standards for housing.

According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, about 2.6 billion to three billion extra crowns will be needed this year for higher benefits for more people. Jurečka stated that he could not say a more accurate estimate of costs or the number of households with a claim. "It is not that we have exhausted three billion crowns and said that we have no more money," he stressed.

Homeowners or permanently registered tenants are now entitled to a housing allowance, for whom 35 percent of income in Prague and 30 percent elsewhere are not enough to pay for adequate housing. The benefit corresponds to the difference between the expenses up to the normative costs and 0.3 times or 0.35 times the income. The norm ranges from 5,000 to 12,200 crowns in cooperative and own flats, depending on the number of household members. The rent is from about 5600 CZK to 20.500 crowns, the size of the city also plays a role.

The amendment increases the amounts. For people who live alone in rent or sublease, the norm raises another 1120 crowns. In own or cooperative apartment it is 1180 crowns. According to the amendment, the norm would be adjusted by CZK 1,130 for a rented couple, and CZK 1,219 in an own and cooperative apartment. For three people, the amounts for calculating benefits would increase by 1607 and 1733 crowns, for four or more people by 1974 and 2147 crowns.

YES MP Jana Pastuchová did not push for a change in the cabinet's authority to further increase standards. Together with Aleš Juchelka (YES), she wanted the possibility of the cabinet to become an obligation. The draft envisages possible government intervention if the estimated average energy costs change "significantly" compared to last year. The amendment does not specify how much they would have to increase. The Ministry of Industry and Trade would give an estimate with the Energy Regulatory Office if the cabinet instructed it to do so.

Source: CTK