Opposition presents pandemic aid programme

PO leader Borys Budka said the plan, dubbed "Crisis Remedy", was a complex aid programme for the national economy with a focus on enterprise, employees and local government. Tomasz Waszczuk/PAP

Poland's main opposition party Civic Platform on Saturday presented its plan for combating the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among others, the plan, an alternative proposal to the government's Friday-presented National Recovery Plan, foresees equal access to aid, a bigger focus on ecology and education, a 5-percent VAT rate for pandemic-affected economic branches, the reinstatement of Sunday trade and more investment incentives.

PO leader Borys Budka said the plan, dubbed "Crisis Remedy", was a complex aid programme for the national economy with a focus on enterprise, employees and local government.

Budka stressed that the programme also aimed to concentrate on issues often brought up by the young, like ecology and, education. He also pointed out that access to aid should be equal for all and not, as now, depend on the size of a person's business or place of residence.

"It is unacceptable that someone is bypassed because they live in a locality that is too big or too small, or that their company is under- or oversized. The state ought to help all that are in need," Budka said.

Presenting the plan's "three steps to normality," Budka said the first step involved a 12-month VAT cut to 5 percent for economic sectors closed down due to the pandemic. According to Budka the move was possible and much needed as an economic impulse.

The second step, Budka said, would be the introduction of a PLN 10,000 (EUR 2.2 thousand) tax-free quota to make labour more profitable for employees.

The third step foresees the reimbursement of fees for two semesters to students who lost jobs under the pandemic as an incentive for them to continue their studies.

Futher proposals include indemnity payments to locked-down companies, the introduction of Sunday trade, more incentives for investment, deposit tax cuts, more legislative transparency, and fewer employment barriers for foreigners.