New Deal to raise health spending, hike tax-free quota

A New Deal plan for Poland in the post-pandemic period foresees more health spending and a bigger tax-free quota, Poland's ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) said at the plan's presentation on Saturday.

The New Deal project, a large part of which contains health reforms, foresees a rise in health outlays to 7 percent of GDP, with a 6-percent level to be achieved in 2023.

Also introduced will be legislation to regulate the quality of medical treatment, a special fund to cover the modernisation of hospitals and a compensation fund for victims of medical errors.

In its environmental section, the plan foresees anti-air pollution and emission reduction projects, the creation of more green areas in cities, and the foundation of new national parks.

The energy segment focuses on nuclear energy, photovoltaics, anti-drought measures and the reduction of oil and gas imports.

The New Deal plan also introduces new financial instruments for parents, most notably a PLN 12,000 (EUR 2,700) second-child benefit, payable in monthly rates over 12 or 24 months.

Also foreseen are new solutions for farmers, including raised fuel subsidies, relaxed retail-sale laws, a special act regulating the status of family-run farms and reductions in "red tape." All state-owned farmland is to be included into an electronic register.

The plan also foresees more aid for housing, including increased financing for housing projects and changes in housing cooperative regulations.

In its economic part, the New Deal introduces a PLN 650 billion (EUR 143.5 billion) investment fund to extend over 5-7 years, and several new benefits for smaller business operators, including tax relief on automation and robotisation projects launched by medium-sized companies.The plan's investment package mainly foresees road and infrastructure projects, a wider introduction of broadband web access and clean energy projects.Other new solutions include tax-free employment for retirees and tax exemptions for retirement pensions up to PLN 2,500 (EUR 552).

Also planned is a rise in the annual tax-free quota to PLN 30,000 (EUR 6,600).