The Czech Republic is experiencing a growing income inequality crisis, according to a recent article in Právo. While average salaries have increased, hundreds of thousands earn less than 20,000 Czech koruna monthly. This persistent decline in the real value of wages has made life increasingly difficult for these individuals and their families.
The article tells the story of Markéta, who works at a bakery in a small town in Olomouc. Despite working a 2-shift schedule, Markéta earns only 19,000 CZK per month. She has two children, one of whom is an adult, and receives only 4,000 CZK monthly in child support. Markéta’s husband pays more in child support for his two children from a previous relationship than she receives in total child support, leaving the family struggling to make ends meet.
Many people in similar situations have turned to social welfare programs, but many find the application process complicated. Josef, a warehouse worker in Most with a salary of 20,000 CZK per month, recently applied for social welfare to supplement his income. He expects to receive around 3,000 CZK per month, which will help, but is still insufficient to cover all his family’s expenses.
The income inequality crisis has hit manual laborers particularly hard and those with part-time or temporary contracts. Even those employed full-time and earning above-average salaries face difficulties as the cost of living continues to rise. Many families are forced to cut back on food expenses and buy cheaper, lower-quality foods.
Unfortunately, finding a better-paying job is not always an option. Many people live in smaller towns and villages, far from large cities where higher-paying jobs are more common. Additionally, those with health issues or young children may find working a job with irregular hours or long commutes challenging.
The Czech government has recognized and taken steps to address the income inequality crisis, including increasing the minimum wage and providing more support for families with children. However, many believe that more needs to be done to ensure that all Czech citizens can earn a living wage and provide for their families.
As the income inequality crisis grows, the government and society must prioritize the needs of those struggling the most. We can only create a more equitable and just society for all by working together.