Ruling party presents five major proposals for 2019 election year

2019-02-23 12:13 update: 2019-02-25, 21:28
Jarosław Kaczyński. Photo PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Jarosław Kaczyński. Photo PAP/Radek Pietruszka
At its congress in Warsaw on Saturday, Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party presented its five major proposals ahead of the election campaign to the European Parliament this spring and to the national parliament in the autumn.

The party's convention was held under the motto "A New Programme Arena."

The Polish government's trademark 'Family 500+' child welfare programme is to be extended to also include the first child, ruling party chairman Jarosław Kaczyński declared at the congress.

Extending the programme to include the first child (it had previously provided PLN 500 (EUR 115) a month for the second and subsequent children) is the first point of the ruling party's election programme, Kaczyński stated, going on to explain that the first child would be included from July 1 this year.

"We have a new programme, a difficult programme," Kaczyński told the party. "Its first point is 500+ starting from the first child."

The ruling party will help young people start their professional lives by exempting them from the Personal Income Tax (PIT) until they reach 26, the party's leader announced as the second point of the electoral agenda.

Every Polish pensioner will once a year get an extra pension payment amounting to the country's minimum pension - PLN 1,100 (EUR 254), Jarosław Kaczyński said, referring to it as "a 13th pension."

"We'll do it this year and will do everything to do it also in the next and the following year," Kaczyński declared.

The first such payment will be made in May, he said.

The ruling party leader told the convention that PiS intends to reinstate local bus services axed earlier to double the number of kilometres travelled from half a billion to a billion.

"Over the last dozen or so years in Poland, bus connections, chiefly PKS (intercity coaches - PAP) have been reduced by half from almost a billion kilometres travelled to less than half a billion. We will return them, we will return that billion, we will return the connections," Kaczyński declared. 

"These connections that I'm talking about, bus connections, obviously affect everyone, the whole of Poland, including big cities, but above all small towns and villages," the PiS leader underscored.

PM Mateusz Morawiecki stressed the role of the family and encouraging young people to stay in the country or return from migration. He said the ruling party will raise tax-deductible labour costs at least twice this year and will also lower the Personal Income Tax (PIT) for all employees.

The prime minister said his government aimed to raise the standard of living in Poland to European levels. "We're heading in this direction and we know how to do it," he said.

"It is a fight for a middle class that lives at the European level. This fight will take place in the European Parliament. We have an excellent team that will go and represent our interests, fight efficiently for our interests," PM Morawiecki said.

Morawiecki said the other obligations, including no income tax for young people, will be fulfilled "by the end of this summer."

The prime minister estimated the cost of all the proposals at PLN 30-40 bln (EUR 6.9-9.2 bln) annually, which will be financed by "further improvements to the tax system and economic growth (...) and reduction of administration costs."

The party will present even more proposals in June or July, Morawiecki added.

Poland will hold elections to the European Parliament in late May and to the national parliament in the autumn. (PAP)