Last year’s increase in spending was covid-related, control office wants to be visible, rejects critics Havlíček | iROZHLAS

According to a report by the Supreme Court of Auditors, the vast majority of the increase in public spending last year was not related to the covid-19 pandemic. If this is true, what good was the government of Andrej Babiš (YES) last year? Vladimír Kroc asked Karel Havlíček (ANO), the former Deputy Prime Minister, who is currently Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.




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Karel Havlíček, Minister of Industry and Trade. | Photo: René Volfik Source: iROZHLAS.cz

Last year, the state budget ended with a deficit of nearly 420 billion crowns, the worst result in the country’s history. In its annual report, the Supreme Court of Auditors pointed out that the deficit increased by more than 52 billion crowns year on year, even if the economic restrictions linked to the pandemic did not reach the same level. than in 2020. So do you have an explanation?
Sure. We cannot judge it only by economic constraints, but by the fatigue of society, if I simplify. The fact that we had to support businesses, the fact that we had to support all possible sectors, that we had to support health in 2021 more than in 2020, it makes sense, because everyone was simply cut off .

Extreme amount of money had to go to health care, we couldn’t shop in standard procedure, says Karel Havlíček

The crisis has increasingly affected everyone and, from this point of view, we support this expenditure, because thanks to it we have not only maintained GDP growth, but, to a reasonable extent, the unemployment rate , and we kept the businesses alive . If we did not support them, we would have tens of thousands of businesses and individual entrepreneurs going bankrupt and a significantly higher unemployment rate.

According to the SAO, nearly 90% of the year-over-year increase in total spending was unrelated to covid-19-related spending. How to understand this?
It’s good marketing. Just in itself, as you said: 90% higher spend…

I’m sorry, I don’t understand. What do you mean by good marketing?
Well, marketing. After all, if I think about it, if I have an expense that’s higher, then how do I measure that it’s 90% of the increased. It is correct to say that it was a total percentage of all expenses, but not the increase. But this is a detail, from which it emerges quite clearly that the Supreme Court of Auditors had to be visible in this respect.


Supreme Audit Office: Coronavirus only accounted for a 10% increase in state budget spending last year

Read the article


But above all, I cannot only judge the so-called direct expenses, which go to business, for example, and the expenses, which are of an indirect nature. If, for example, the SAO says that the costs associated with, say, salaries or social expenditures – i.e. the salaries of paramedics, police, army or firefighters – were not directly related, so logically, of course, because these people worked hard for two years and they got us through the covid period.

We can also speak of an increase in payments for those insured by the State. When else should we put more resources into health care than when covid and hospitals were rampant and they weren’t good at it. When else should we increase resources for regions that have done a tremendous amount of work. So characterizing this as something unrelated to covid, a forensic person cannot do.

I will pause to say that the SAO wanted to be visible. Andrej Babiš has already said it. Help me understand why an independent authority should do such a thing, make itself visible.
Just presenting the whole report saying that this is an increase of which 90% does not correspond to covid costs is good economic nonsense.


I just don’t understand why the SAO, as an independent auditing body, should need to be visible. If you can explain it.
Well, you should ask the National Audit Office, Mr Editor. He would be right if he said: 50% of these expenses were direct, 30% indirect. of the total expense. But how can I measure any increase and say: so it was covid related or not.

What specific things does the National Audit Office have against the previous government’s finances? And what does Karel Havlíček agree with his analysis? Listen to the full interview conducted by Vladimír Kroc.

Vladimir Kroc, jkh

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