Polish parliament says yes to child benefit
The Polish parliament has approved new child benefit payments amounting to around 115 euros per month for families with two or more children. The government plans to fund the measure with a special retail tax on companies. Poland's press sees this as a risky undertaking by the national conservative ruling party PiS.
Government facing first test of its cohesion
The government's plans to finance child benefits through a special tax will be the start of its problems, the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza believes:
“The small shops are often tied to a fracnchise system and therefore already have to pay taxes for that. Moreover the finance minister would be crossing swords with online traders who are more exposed to competition from abroad. Such taxes on trade have already been criticised by the EU Commission on the grounds that they go against European principles. Brussels already forced Hungary a few years ago to change rules that burdened certain sectors more than others. … Now even Deputy Prime Minister Morawiecki has attacked Finance Minister Szałamacha. This is the first open conflict within the government. It can't be ruled out that Szydło will sack hapless Szałamacha simply to end the conflict.”
Child benefits futile
Child benefits are a noble but ultimately futile idea, writes economist Sergiusz Prokurat in a commentary for the conservative daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna: "Such baby bonuses or monthly payments for children are typical examples of government measures that, although they pursue good and noble ends, are ineffective. ... Now Poland will also pursue such money wasting policies, even though they will only make the bureaucrats happy at the end of the day because they will entail the creation of permanent jobs for distributing the benefits. ... If you spend 25 percent more on child benefit, for example, it will bring about a short-term birthrate increase of 0.5 percent and a four-percent rise in the long term. This is what an analysis by the economist Jan Hoem demonstrated."
PiS keeps its promises on family policy
The draft law testifies to the honesty of the government, PiS MP Maks Kraczkowski comments in a guest commentary for the national conservative daily Gazeta Polska Codziennie:
“The PiS's programme gives Poland's economic and social policy an entirely new quality. Because so far election campaign pledges have never been fulfilled. The current PiS government and the PiS leadership which held office between 2005 and 2007 have both proven that they keep their word. ... The PiS has come up with a programme that can be seen as truly revolutionary as regards family support and a policy that encourages people to have children.”