Prague considering windfall tax
Rising energy costs are taking their toll on Czech households. The liberal-conservative government led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala has introduced a billion-euro aid package in an attempt to ease the burden. A windfall tax for banks and energy companies is also under debate - a highly controversial topic, as a glance at the national press shows.
Government must not leave citizens in the lurch
The high inflation is taking its toll on the people, Seznam Zprávy notes:
“The government must prepare itself for the fact that the 30 billion korunas it has provided so far to support households will not be enough. Most people have no choice but to cut back on consumption. ... Energy prices hit record highs again this week. The price of electricity on the Prague PXE exchange rose to an all-time high on Wednesday. ... Gas customers can expect up to a seven-fold increase in their advance payments. Electricity prices will rise to 7,000 korunas per megawatt hour in the first quarter of next year, not including VAT, according to an optimistic estimate. Last year, people paid only 1,600 korunas for that amount.”
Not a good solution
The windfall tax is a populist tool, writes Echo24:
“After eight months in power, it is becoming increasingly clear that Petr Fiala's cabinet has abandoned its plans to cut government spending and seek ways to save money, as it had promised to do. ... The question is why the cabinet is taking an unnecessary risk and trying to ride the wave of Orbán populism by introducing a special profit tax. This tax will not solve the problem of the deficit in public finances. The taxation of extraordinary profits by the governing coalition, which was advocated by the Civic Party ODS in particular, will only anger its orthodox voters and please opposition leader Andrej Babiš.”