Final Word from Wednesday, August 28, 2002

The Špidla cabinet wants to raise the top personal income-tax rate as a way to help pay for flood relief. MF Dnes says a new 37% bracket would apply to only those who earn more than Kč 1.1m ($35,000). HN says, though, that the tax hike would likely apply to many more people - all those earning Kč 35,000+ per month. Premier Vladimír Špidla risks alienating "rich" opinion leaders (managers, analysts, journalists, etc.) who so far have been rather nice to him. Many of them voted for him because he was the best way to get rid of Václav Klaus and Miloš Zeman, but not because of his politics. They might have won him the elections, although we know of no research on the issue. By openly attacking them he risks sending them back to ODS. The higher tax won't raise much money, but it could help ODS in the Senate and municipal elections. Václav Klaus ČSSD


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