Ruling party's new social proposals total EUR 5.8 bln says PM

piotr nowak/PAP

The new social programmes recently revealed by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party will cost the taxpayers PLN 26 billion (EUR 5.77 billion) a year, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has said.

PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski unveiled the latest social scheme at his party convention on Sunday, just months before the general election.

The government's flagship 500 Plus monthly child benefit will be raised to PLN 800 (EUR 178) from PLN 500 (EUR 111) from next year, while people over 65 as well as children and adolescents will be offered medicines for free. Kaczynski also said the government wanted to scrap road tolls for private motorists, both on state-owned and private motorways.

In an interview with the private broadcaster Polsat News on Monday, the prime minister said that the increase of the child benefit amount will make the bulk of the total cost of the programmes.

"The ones that we have announced so far will amount to an additional PLN 26 billion (EUR 5.77 billion)," Morawiecki said. "It is primarily the indexation of the 500 Plus to 800 Plus, but it should be stressed that it is significantly above inflation since the start of the programme... 60 percent is much more than the eight-year inflation as estimated even at the end of this year, which will be about 46 percent."

Morawiecki said the PLN 26 billion will be financed from economic growth and tightening loopholes in tax collection.