“No one will guarantee us economic growth. We need to fight for it ourselves. We need around four percent [GDP] growth. But I am speaking as a politician, not an economist,” Jarosław Kaczyński said in a wide-ranging interview published on Friday.
Kaczyński, the leader of the conservative party which swept to power in October last year, told the Rzeczpospolita daily that the Polish government’s targets next year are “stability”, and “to calm the atmosphere in areas which depend on us”.
Invigorating economy 'a priority'
Kaczyński added that invigorating the economy, including boosting GDP, is a priority for the government.
Earlier this month, Moody’s rating agency lowered Poland’s 2017 GDP growth forecast to 2.9 percent, citing a “slowdown in global and regional growth, investment and trade.”
Kaczyński spoke to the Rzeczpospolita daily on a number of issues ranging from personnel changes within the government, the aftermath of the 2010 Smolensk plane crash, to the economy.
The government has launched a programme to “re-Polonise” the banking sector. Last week the state-operated PZU insurer and Polski Fundusz Rozwoju (PFR) announced that they would buy out a 32.8 percent stake in Pekao SA bank from Italy’s UniCredit for PLN 10.6 billion (USD 2.58 billion, EUR 2.39 billion).
Commenting on the transaction in the Rzeczpospolita interview, Kaczyński said: “Capital has a nationality”.
“If the development of Poland is to be at the core of our policy, we need to have our own capital and our own banking system,” Kaczyński said, adding that the Poland will likely not hold a 100 percent stake in the country’s banks, “but a majority”.
No tax hikes
Asked about the changes planned by the government to the tax system, Kaczyński said: "We have no plan to raise taxes."
He said that the government will focus on being more efficient when it comes to tax collection, particularly VAT and CIT (corporate income tax).
The under-the-counter, unregistered sector of the economy “is greater than we thought at first”, he added. (rg)