The Upper Chamber refused to freeze politicians’ salaries on Wednesday, as the Chamber of Deputies majority proposed a few days before the elections. Even some senators from the ANO and ČSSD parties rejected it. The salary freeze was proposed by outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) just days before the October elections to the lower house. Following this decision, top politicians’ salaries are expected to rise by about 6% the following year.
Fifty-seven of the sixty-eight members of the upper chamber present voted to reject the amendment, and even some senators from the Proregion club, which includes representatives of ANO and ČSSD, raised their hands. Only five voted against it. The upper Chamber’s decision will mean that the proposal will fall under the table, and the new post-election Chamber will no longer be able to override the Senate’s veto.
“The proposal aims to freeze salaries at this year’s level until 2026. It will not affect judges, ” Finance Minister Alena Schillerová (ANO) presented the amendment to the Senates. The proposal was supposed to save approximately three-quarters of a billion crowns during the coronavirus epidemic. Some senators pointed out a big jump in salary increases after 2026, and others described the amendment as populist.
“The outgoing government proposed to reduce the salaries of constitutional officials. This is an unusual and illogical step. It is instead a populist move, “said Petr Holeček, a senator from the STAN movement.
Under the current legal situation, the salary of ordinary MPs and senators will rise by CZK 5,500 to CZK 96,300 per month from January, according to preliminary data on average wages. The president will receive CZK 321,000 and ministers CZK 183,700 a month, as will the vice-presidents of the parliamentary chambers. This is an increase of 18,300 crowns and 10,500 crowns.
The prime minister and the presidents of the two chambers of parliament will earn 258,600 crowns a month, an increase of 14,800 crowns this year. The chairmen of the parliamentary committees, commissions, and delegations will receive a CZK 7,800 increase to CZK 135,600. Along with the salaries of politicians, their monthly compensation will also increase.