Final Word from Monday, April 2, 2012

The Nečas cabinet is whittling down some of the key components of its austerity package. Instead of freezing pensions, the economic ministers now want to raise them slightly. Instead of sharply cutting the flat expense write-offs of the self-em- ployed, the ministers now only want to reduce the various deductions and put a cap on the flat-rate charges allowed for certain professions. Instead of a new 31-32% per- sonal income-tax bracket, they're now talking about a 6.5% solidarity contribution on top of the flat 15% rate. There's even talk of delaying by a year the hike in the existing single rate from 15% to 16%. These changes would mean billions of crowns less on the spending and revenue sides than Miroslav Kalousek proposed. The question is whether he intentionally overstated the amounts initially so as to have wiggle room, or whether he plans to spring something else on us that hasn't been mentioned yet.[Czech Republic finance ministry budget]

Glossary of difficult words

wiggle room - room to maneuver; flexibility, esp. in one's options or interpretation;

to whittle something down - to reduce, cut back, slim down;

to spring something on someone - to announce suddenly or unexpectedly.


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