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No need to revise budget to fund ruling party pledges: Polish PM

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 05.03.2019 14:30
Poland’s conservative government will probably not need to revise its 2019 budget to accommodate an ambitious new set of spending pledges, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki ahead of a Cabinet meeting in Warsaw on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Rafał GuzPrime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki ahead of a Cabinet meeting in Warsaw on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

In an interview with public broadcaster Polish Radio, Morawiecki said the swathe of spending proposals could for the most part be funded by more efficient tax collection and further efforts to combat VAT fraud.

"Most likely the budget will not have to be amended,” Morawiecki told Polish Radio. “But even if such an amendment proved necessary a few months from now or at any time in the future, it would be nothing unusual.”

He dismissed claims by the opposition that the latest spending promises were a case of "buying votes" by Poland’s ruling conservatives.

The latest pledges are designed to meet the needs of ordinary people, while the opposition, by criticising the plans, is acting "in the interest of the rich," Morawiecki argued.

"I want to be the prime minister of ordinary people, I want to be the prime minister of the needy, of the working people, the nascent Polish middle class,” he said.

He added: "I think we all agree that it's better to allocate these funds to pensioners, children, young people, the working people in the broad sense, than to spend them on luxury cars, lavish villas and gold watches…”

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party last month announced an expansion of its flagship 500+ child benefit programme, in addition to a string of other promises.

Party leader Jarosław Kaczyński said at a convention in Warsaw that his ruling conservatives’ 500+ programme of giving families with two or more children a handout of PLN 500 (USD 133, EUR 116) a month per child would be expanded to include families with just one child.

Kaczyński also announced that the lower personal income tax rate would be cut from 18 to 17 percent and that people under 26 would be exempt from paying personal income tax.

Among the pledges announced during the convention were also additional benefits for pensioners and more bus connections to smaller cities.

Morawiecki said at the time that the total cost of the party’s new pledges was estimated at PLN 30 billion to PLN 40 billion.

Morawiecki gave an interview to Polish Radio as his Cabinet was on Tuesday set to discuss a detailed schedule for carrying out the new spending promises, a plan dubbed the "Kaczyński Five."


Source: IAR

tags: budget
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