Some ministers do not see room for greater savings. “As a resort, we were really in the front line, those people worked a lot of overtime, the technology got a huge shot and we just can’t save money here,” emphasizes Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (CSSD).
Even the Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (for YES) does not respond to the challenges. “Within our department, which does not have a very large budget and currently needs money, for example, to support hygienic stations and the like, I do not see any large, fundamental space for savings at all,” he states.
Prime Minister Babiš has repeatedly called on members of the government to make savings. He sees reserves, for example, in operating costs. “Individual ministers certainly have a lot of space not to employ party colleagues and other things,” he said.
“In operating costs, we are very modest, even dietary. After all, we were one of the ministries that did not pay the rewards for the first half of the year, “emphasizes the Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec (YES). According to Karel Havlíček (two YES) – transport and industry – two departments are saving in each department. “However, in the whole context, these are relatively small resources,” the deputy prime minister admits.
Minister of Labor Jana Maláčová (ČSSD) talks towards next year about savings and the planned reduction of the salaries of constitutional officials. “I have a few ideas, but first I keep it for negotiation and then I will inform the others,” he advises. He does not want to comment on any other suggestions yet.
The head of diplomacy, Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD), is also counting on cuts. “Following the report of the Supreme Audit Office, we can look for savings in contributions to international organizations. On the other hand, we do not have a plan to limit, for example, the network of our embassies, “he explains.
The government did not present itself with the investigation, says Dolejš
The investigation within the government is called not only by the opposition, but also by the Communists, who tolerate the government. “In the area of savings, this government has not shown so much and should really sweep itself in front of its own doorstep,” calls Babiš’s cabinet, for example, KSČM MP Jiří Dolejš. On behalf of the Pirates, Mikuláš Ferjenčík, Deputy Chairman of the House Budget Committee, says: “We drew attention, for example, to the issue of marketing services and PR.”
The chairman of KDU-ČSL Marian Jurečka sees room for investigation in the reduction of operating costs: “It is possible to use more home office, shared offices, for example, to reduce the cost of renting space,” he suggests.
ODS MP Jan Skopeček believes that the savings should have been more significant in this year’s budget, and not only in operating expenses: “Operating expenses have a certain amount, but the savings will not save where public finances are going,” he told CT. According to him, every budget expenditure should have gone through the inventory. “We have too many states, too many officials,” he added.
The Minister of Finance’s annual budget meetings with other members of the government will begin in mid-September. After approval by the cabinet, the Chamber of Deputies will also discuss the financial plan for next year.