Czech Human Rights Minister: Debt relief is a basic aspect of addressing social exclusion
Combating social exclusion involves not just creating accessible social housing and schools that don't discriminate, but debt relief. Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier opened up this very sensitive topic during the "Partie" discussion program on the Prima television station yesterday.
"I'd mention one more thing, which is naturally politically very sensitive because it must be undertaken in such a way as to avoid creating a moral hazard, but we must discuss a more accessible model for debt relief, because currently according to the bankruptcy law, only those who are capable of paying off 30 % of their unsecured obligations within five years are permitted to go into personal bankruptcy. We have an enormous number of people now who at this moment are incapable of paying down their debt and we are pushing them absolutely outside the system," Dienstbier said.
"On the one hand, they cannot negotiate normal leases for apartments, and therefore they are frequently pushed into those expensive, lower-quality forms of housing. We are incapable of getting them into the legal labor market, because it is more rational economically for them to work under the table, and that means, among other things, that we are also losing their contributions to health insurance, social security, and taxes, and that is absolutely a basic problem we must focus on, because all those who are attempting to address the question of social exclusion are drawing attention to the fact that over -indebtedness is basically an insoluble problem, at this moment, that is preventing these people from re-entering normal life," the minister said.
His opponent in the discussion, Civic Democratic Vice-Chair Martin Kupka (ODS), warned of the risks of debt relief: "If we're going to talk about debt relief, the state must not be allowed to send the signal that it is possible not to pay one's debts. The institution of personal bankruptcy does exist, and it does make sense to discuss how it actually could function better, but to send the signal that it is possible not to pay off your debts would really be overwhelming for this society."
"I said we must do this in such a way as to avoid moral hazard," Dienstbier reiterated. "When we are talking about personal bankruptcy, which should be more accessible for those who are already today basically completely excluded from economic and social life because of the situation they are in, then naturally it would have to be tied to their fulfilling very strict conditions for several years, including sincere attempts to pay off what they can, and conditions for their creditors in some sort of controlled regime."
- Czech Republic: Romani NGO helps halt illegal debt collections worth more than CZK 2.5 million
- Czech Republic: ROMEA meets with Romani job-seekers, debt collection and discrimination main concerns
- Problems of a Czech city: Aging populations, debt, depopulation, ghettos, not enough work, residential hotels
- Czech town sells its active debt from back rents to its own property management firm
- Upcoming topic of Czech Television talk show: "Stricter rules for chronic troublemakers and debtors"
- Brno gives debtors a second chance, wants to keep families intact
- Town collections agents in Litvínov start confiscating debtors’ property
- Czech town evicts two Romany families over debts
- Czech Govt report on the state of the Romani minority estimates 830 ghettos with 127 000 inhabitants in the regions
- Under criticism from lower house, Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister spends the night in infamous ghetto
- Czech Government decides today on moving Agency for Social Inclusion to the Regional Development Ministry
- Karel Karika: Benefit-free zones are absurd, the populists are abusing their power
- Czech lower house rejects Senate amendments to bankruptcy bill, passes version unlikely to satisfy those who work with debtors
- Czech Govt report on domestic human rights says debt collections proceedings are the country's biggest problem
- Czech Justice Minister: State has no solution for social exclusion, Romani children not on an equal footing with others
- Czech Government approves bankruptcy amendment bill adjusting conditions for debt relief
- Czech town withdraws housing subsidies from certain areas, experts say that's no solution
- Czech Government supports amendment to insolvency law to make debt relief more accessible
- Czech Republic: New Human Rights Minister Chvojka officially takes office
- Outgoing Czech Human Rights Minister claims successes