Family aid on the rise - minister

Marlena Malag told the weekly news magazine ‘Sieci’ that the so far PLN 134 billion (EUR 29.3 billion) has been spent on the 500 Plus child benefit programme, one of the flagship social spending programmes. Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Spending on family policy increased from under 2 to nearly 4 percent of GDP between 2015 and 2020, the social policy minister has claimed.

Since coming into office in 2015, the Law and Justice government has made social spending a key policy, and introduced a number of high-profile schemes, despite opposition claims that they could place considerable strain on the state budget.

Marlena Malag told the weekly news magazine ‘Sieci’ that the so far PLN 134 billion (EUR 29.3 billion) has been spent on the 500 Plus child benefit programme, one of the flagship social spending programmes.

She added that the programme, which grants a PLN 500 (EUR 109.2) monthly benefit to children from birth until 18 years of age, was one of the government's major investments in the future and something Poland "could not afford" to discontinue.

But she conceded it was too early to tell if the programme had increased the Polish birth rate, saying that clear results could not be expected within the next 30 years.