Kaczynski’s “hat trick” latest in slew of PiS promises ahead of key election in Poland

Kaczynski’s “hat trick” latest in slew of PiS promises ahead of key election in Poland
By Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 9, 2019

Poland’s ruling party will massively increase the legally guaranteed minimum wages in Poland as well as add an extra pension payment and increase agricultural subsidies to match Western Europe’s levels, Law and Justice (PiS) chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski and other leaders told a convention on September 7.

PiS is campaigning heavily before the October 13 general election in Poland that the incumbent party hopes to win big in order to secure the domination it gained in 2015. 

Despite the string of scandals uncovered by the media in recent weeks, PiS appears to be cruising safely towards a decisive victory once again. The ruling party is buoyed by the booming economy, record-low unemployment and rising wages – all factors that eclipse the opposition’s concerns over the rule of law or PiS’ cooperation with the Catholic church that cements social conservatism.

The convention held in the eastern city of Lublin saw PiS’ leaders make three key promises, dubbed “Kaczynski’s hat trick”. The minimum monthly wage will grow to gross PLN3,000 (€692) from the current PLN2,250 at the end of 2020, Kaczynski said. By the end of the next parliamentary term, at the end of 2023, it will have grown to PLN4,000, he added.

PiS also promised to increase the minimum pension to PLN1,200 from the current PLN1,100. The ruling party also said it would keep an extra pension payment and add another one in 2021.

Kaczynski also said PiS would increase agricultural subsidies so that they match those received by farmers in Western Europe.

PiS will establish a PLN2bn fund to upgrade Polish hospitals, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced. 

Another fund will be set up to build 100 ring roads across Poland. Yet another fund – worth PLN2bn – will serve renovations of schools. PiS also said it would carry out modernisation of 150 railway stations in Poland.

The ruling party skimped on details of where the money for the numerous promises will come from. Critical economists said PiS’ promises are a recipe for high inflation and deficit-laden budgets while economic growth is expected to decelerate.

Only two weeks earlier, the government said that the 2020 budget will have no deficit. 

According to a poll by Pollster published on September 8, PiS is leading with 45% of declared support, ahead of the centre-right Civic Coalition at 28%, left-wing Lewica at 14%, and agrarians from PSL-Polish Coalition at 7%.