The numbers are in and according to Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová, the Czech Republic ran a deficit of CZK 367 billion for 2020, dwarfing 2009’s deficit of CZK 192 billion, making it the worst deficit in the country’s history by a long shot.
As rough as it is, this deficit is actually lower than what was expected; Originally, the Chamber of Deputies had signed off on allowing for a CZK 500 billion deficit. Schillerová explained that there was CZK 110.7 billion extra in unexpected revenues to pad the losses. Roughly half of the unexpected revenue came from taxes, and CZK 26 billion came from the European Union.
Overall, the total state budget revenues fell by CZK 47.7 billion, and expenditures increased by CZK 291.2 billion. The ministry of finance confirmed that CZK 216.5 billion was spent on various anti-COVID-19 measures like unemployment benefits and other antivirus programs.
With the pandemic at all-time highs, this trend isn’t showing any signs of stopping. ING Bank analyst Jakub Seidler told CTK that he expects 2021’s deficit to climb to CZK 400 billion because of new tax packages the state hasn’t yet accounted for. Several other analysts from banks interviewed by CTK shared the same sentiments.
The official deficit that the government is shooting for in 2021 is CZK 320 billion, which, according to the analysts, is unrealistically low.