Flagship gov’t benefits programme kicks off in Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
A flagship government initiative introducing new state benefits designed to encourage Polish families to have more children kicks off on Friday.
PM Beata Szydło (centre). Photo: PAP/Darek Delmanowicz
The new handouts, designed to counteract a looming demographic crisis, were a key pledge by the Law and Justice (PiS) party ahead of its victory in the country’s October general election.
With the population of Poland set to shrink fast, the PiS government's “500+” programme aims to ease the burdens of child-rearing by giving all families with two or more children a handout of PLN 500 (USD 127, EUR 112) a month per child, regardless of their income level.
Poorer families will receive the allowance even if they have just one child.
Prime Minister Beata Szydło was to take part in a press conference on Friday morning at which a special "500 bus" was to be unveiled.
The vehicle is to spend the next three months travelling around the Mazowieckie region, making information about the 500+ programme available to the public. Similar buses will be seen across the country.
Families have three months to submit their first application for the new payouts. Even if they apply towards the end of June, they will still get payments backdated to April 1.
Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the new programme into law in February. (pk)