The Sejm rejected the Senate’s amendment increasing spending on health care by PLN 6.3 billion in the amendment to the budget act for 2021. The lower house of parliament also rejected the amendment, ordering the government to prepare a plan of non-expiring expenses.
On Thursday, the Sejm voted on the Senate’s resolution on the bill amending the budget act for 2021.
The Senate proposed one amendment to it, increasing the amount of subsidies to the National Health Fund by PLN 6.3 billion, at the expense of property expenditure provided for national defense. Senators argued that the financial crisis related to the outbreak of COVID-19 justifies limiting budget expenditure in a place that does not require such large expenses, in favor of financial support for guaranteed benefits, including hospital treatment, psychiatric care, addiction treatment, outpatient specialist care and rehabilitation curative.
However, Members were of a different opinion.
Diet against higher spending on health
The government also opposed the adoption of the Senate amendment. As deputy finance minister Sebastian Skuza explained at the meeting of the parliamentary committee that considered the amendment, “in the field of health care, the government project related to the Polish Government is a comprehensive solution and guarantees an increase in expenditure on health protection”.
In Thursday’s vote, the Sejm adopted some of the Senate’s amendments. Most of the seven Senate amendments were legislative and organizing.
In one, it was proposed to adopt changes ordering the government to prepare a plan of non-expiring expenditures – that is, those whose incurring and settlement is to take place later than by the end of March next year – and to provide the Sejm and the Supreme Audit Office with information on the implementation of these expenditures. It was this amendment that was rejected by Members.
Amendment of the budget act for 2021
In the amendment to the budget act for 2021, it was assumed that inflation would amount to 4.3% and GDP would increase by 4.9%. This year’s budget expenditures are to amount to PLN 523.37 billion (originally PLN 486.78 billion), and revenues to PLN 482.98 billion (initially PLN 404.48 billion). The budget deficit in 2021 is to amount to PLN 40.38 billion (originally it was supposed to amount to PLN 82.3 billion).
The most important solutions introduced by the budget-related act for 2021 include the creation of a rewards fund for the current year in budgetary units or the allocation of PLN 1 billion to additional subsidies for research units under the Łukaszewicz research network. The act also provides for additional funds in the amount of PLN 1 billion for municipalities for investments in water supply and additional PLN 3 billion for investments related to the sewage system. Almost PLN 1.25 billion is to be allocated to the purchase of PKP PLK shares from PKP SA.
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