Czech government survives confidence vote in Parliament linked to unpopular austerity package

The Czech government has survived a confidence vote linked to unpopular austerity measures.

In the 101-93 vote Wednesday, lawmakers approved a 1 percent increase in the sales tax on retail goods and a 7 percent income tax increase for the highest-earners. The measures aim to bring the budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP.

Parliament first rejected the austerity in September when six lawmakers from Prime Minister Petr Necas' party voted against, saying the measures were against their party's values.

Necas resubmitted them, linking their passage to a vote of confidence in the government. Had Wednesday's vote failed, the coalition government would have collapsed.

Passage of the measures was made possible by the resignation of three of the rebel lawmakers from Parliament on Wednesday.