Child benefit hike not feasible before elections says Kaczyński
Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), has said that raising of the monthly child benefit 500-Plus programme is not feasible before parliamentary elections scheduled for this autumn.
Last Sunday, during his party policy convention, Kaczyński made a pledge that the 500-Plus scheme will increase to PLN 800 (EUR 176) from January 2024, if his party wins the elections.
On Monday, Donald Tusk, the leader of the main opposition Civic Coalition (KO), proposed to adopt the decision on the child benefit before the elections so that "it becomes a fact on Children's Day, June 1, and not on New Year's Eve 2024."
On Wednesday, the KO caucus submitted a draft of bill to the Sejm, lower house of the parliament, envisaging the hike of the 500-Plus benefit to PLN 800 from June 1, this year.
Reacting to Tusk's proposal, Kaczyński told Polish Radio later in the day that it was "simply unfeasible" and "not a well-thought-out ploy."
He added that Tusk's proposal was "an element of a kind of political burlesque, not even a comedy."
"It is simply completely frivolous, impossible to carry out," Kaczyński said.
He explained that that the plan to increase the 500-Plus benefit to PLN 800 had been previously agreed, calculated and prepared.
"This is about maintaining a programme that works, has brought numerous positive effects, but which was limited by the inflation process, at the time when the 500-Plus was introduced, the value of the zloty was significantly higher than at the moment," Kaczyński said.
"But such an increase will cause the real purchasing power of this 'plus' to be greater than at the time of its introduction, greater taking inflation into account, which means it is a higher increase than inflation."