This week, the representatives of the Pirate Party presented their proposal for an energy bonus for households to the Chamber of Deputies. This is a significant step only insofar as it deviates from the way Petr Fiala’s government has done so far in terms of rising energy and fuel prices . The proposed energy bonus is thus much closer to what the YES opposition movement is talking about in this area, which also praises the Pirates for this act. What can we deduce from all this, and can we say that there are significant external differences between the Pirate Party and the rest of the governing coalition, which indicate the existence of deeper differences between the groups of the coalition?
Fiala’s government has long refused to follow the path of comprehensive measures pushing Babiš’s group. He wants to cap the price of fuel or waive VAT on energy. The ruling coalition, meanwhile, wanted targeted aid for those most affected by rising prices. But the energy bonus that the Pirates offered doesn’t quite match.
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“We are getting a number of reports that families are paying huge deposits for gas and energy, up to 8,000 crowns per household. People see the bills after the energy increase and know that ‘much of it comes back to the state in the form of an additional tax. We believe that the state should absolutely not profit from it and that on the contrary, it should return part of this tax revenue to the people. We propose that the government introduce a so-called energy bonus in the range of 400 to 800 CZK per household per month on advance declarations or bills,” Jakub Michálek, chairman of the Pirates parliamentary group, told a conference release to the lower house of parliament this week.
In fact, it sounds very, if not almost, like what the leaders of the YES movement are saying. They also claim that the state will collect a lot more money in taxes for expensive energy and fuel and should return it to the people somehow.
The main problem, of course, is that the Czech Republic might collect more taxes (although this is by no means certain, given that there is a risk that instead of economic growth of more than 3% this year, our country’s growth will be zero, as he fears the Governor of the Czech National Bank Jiří Rusnok), on the other hand, will have many extraordinary expenses even without various zone measures.
The Pirate Party’s proposal was further described by Jakub Michálek as follows: “It is a measure to help low-income households and the middle class. In negotiations with the government, we will negotiate a solution that will really help people in the energy crisis, and we will continue to support efforts for energy security and self-sufficiency. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has had our proposal on the table since early February, and the coalition is expected to discuss a solution in the coming days. »
The germ of a future split within the firm?
It is true that the energy bonus is something a little different from what the YES movement proposes, but its scope, unlike previous government measures, is widespread, with an energy bonus in the range of 400 to 800 CZK per household per month and in addition low-income households should also help the middle class. Therefore, it’s probably not such a surprise that the Pirates, thanks to their proposal, won a prize from Babiš’s group.
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As Alena Schillerová, former finance minister and current chair of the ANO parliamentary group, said on Tuesday: “People are crushed by energy prices, businesses are crushed by fuel and the government is doing nothing about it. . I am glad that the first government party spoke at press conferences here on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies today. It was the Pirate Party that spoke of concrete help in the fight against high energy. She talked about a bonus that could be paid. She even admitted at first that it’s not just the socially weaker groups that have a problem, but the middle class. »
When you think about it, it’s probably no wonder the Pirates made their offer. In the long term, they are the group that most profiles themselves in the current government coalition as being socially oriented, although they reluctantly object to being a leftist movement, but they are certainly the closest to the left of all members of the Purple government.
On the other hand, the energy bonus can probably not be overestimated and considered as the germ of a future split within the government. For this reason, this is unlikely to happen, although it will certainly be interesting to see how the debate on this issue continues between the coalition partners, or how the hackers themselves will deal with it, and if they do not don’t do it in government, they will propose it to the lower house. .
Anyway, it’s been confirmed that there is a difference between the Pirate Party and the rest of the coalition, but it’s not a major issue at the moment. It will be more important whether similar situations continue to occur or if the atmosphere around them will somehow worsen.