Lower house passes bill on aid for people exiled to Soviet Union

The Polish Sejm (lower house) passed on Friday a presidential draft law on granting financial benefits to Poles who were exiled or deported to the Soviet Union in the years 1939-56.

The act passed in a 440 to 3 vote with no abstentions. The new legislation will now be sent to the Senate (upper house) for reading.

The new regulations provide for the granting of one-time cash benefits, which, taking into account the average time spent in exile, may amount to PLN 13,200 (EUR 2,992). The money will be granted in an amount proportional to the period of person's stay in exile or deportation in the Soviet Union. For each month of being subjected to this kind of repression in 1939–56, the government will pay PLN 200 (EUR 45), whereas a one-time benefit may not amount to less than PLN 2,400 (EUR 544).

The act is intended to reduce existing inequalities and make it possible to meet the expectations of the claims of those Polish citizens exiled or deported to the Soviet Union in 1939-56, who, so far, have not received compensation for their suffering.