The Senate budget and public finance committee considered the budget act for 2024 and recommended the adoption of the budget without amendments. Four amendments to the budget were tabled as minority motions. The budget bill will now go to the plenary session of the Senate, which will resume on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Senate budget and public finance committee heard the opinions of other Senate committees on individual parts of the budget act for 2024. The committees accepted their parts of the budget without amendments. The budget and public finance committee also adopted a resolution recommending the adoption of the budget act without amendments.
The budget for 2024 envisages state revenues of nearly PLN 682.4 billion. The act assumed that almost PLN 603.9 billion would be collected from taxes. The spending limit for this year set in the Budget Act is nearly PLN 866.4 billion. Therefore, the state budget deficit is to amount to no more than PLN 184 billion. The budget deficit of European funds was set at PLN 32.5 billion.
Work on the budget in the Senate
During the work of the budget committee, senators Grzegorz Bierecki and Jacek Włosowicz from the Law and Justice Parliamentary Club submitted four amendments. They concerned increasing funds for the Supreme Court, the National Broadcasting Council, the Institute of National Remembrance, and the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland.
– Despite the reductions made during the work of the Public Finance Committee in the Sejm and during the second reading of the budget in the Sejm, the budgets of these institutions are still growing above the value from 2023. The budget of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland increases by 11.6 percent, the budget of the Supreme Court by 23.9 percent, the Supreme Audit Office by 21.1 percent, the National Broadcasting Council by 9.7 percent, and Institute of National Remembrance by 8.6 percent – said Deputy Minister of Finance Hanna Majszczyk during the Senate committee deliberations.
The committee did not vote on the senators’ amendments PISso they were submitted as minority requests.
The budget bill will now go to the plenary session of the Senate. The Senate meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, with the session to resume at 11 a.m.
What will President Andrzej Duda do?
If the Senate supports the proposal of the budget and public finance committee, the bill will be sent to the president Andrzej Duda for signature.
The president announced on Thursday at the Davos conference that when the budget bill is sent to him, “it will be subject to full analysis from the constitutional point of view, both substantive and procedural.” – But this will be the only aspect in which we will assess it – he said.
– I also want to say clearly that I hear some speculation that there may be early elections. I don’t see such a possibility at all, said President Duda. – If the budget is adopted, even sending the budget to the Constitutional Tribunal absolutely does not result in any early elections – he said.
According to art. 224 of the constitution President of the Republic of Poland may sign the budget law within seven days, or may ask the Constitutional Tribunal to assess the compliance of its provisions with the constitution. The Tribunal has a maximum of two months from the date of submission of the application to issue a ruling.
The Constitution also provides that if, within four months from the date of submitting the draft budget bill to the Sejm, it is not presented to the President of the Republic of Poland for signature, he may order the shortening of the term of office of the Sejm within 14 days.
According to the forecasts of the Ministry of Finance, in 2024 there will be an improvement in the dynamics of economic activity in Poland and growth GDP will be 3 percent Forecasts assume a slowdown in average annual inflation to 6.6%. In turn, unemployment is expected to amount to 5.2% and the nominal increase in the average salary to 9.8%.
Main photo source: PAP/Piotr Nowak