Budget-related Act. Presidential veto. Economist Sławomir Kalinowski: shooting in the foot


Vetoing the budget-related bill is a bit of a shot in the president’s foot, said economist Sławomir Kalinowski from the Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development of the Polish Academy of Sciences on TVN24. Andrzej Duda announced on Saturday that he had decided to veto the bill, which, in addition to the possibility of co-financing public media, also included pay raises for teachers.

– This is actually an act on specific solutions regarding the budget, i.e. how to implement the budget, what conversion factors to use, what rules, i.e. all elements related to the budget – explained Dr. Hab. Sławomir Kalinowski.

He added that, in his opinion, this is “unfortunately a shot in the president’s foot.” – This is a reaction to expectations, among other things Jarosław Kaczyński, who demanded that the president take over public television. In this specific way, the president took care of this public television, and in fact he took care of all of us, teachers, miners and other social groups who were supposed to receive raises next year, but due to the veto of this budget-related bill – they will not. What is important is that it is not a budget. Of course, the president cannot veto the budget, the economist noted.

On Saturday evening, the president announced that he had decided to veto the budget-related act for 2024, which included the possibility of transferring PLN 3 billion to public media. There cannot be consent to this in view of the flagrant violation of the Constitution and the principles of a democratic state of law, he explained. He added that after the holidays he would submit his own bill to the Sejm, regarding, among others, raises for teachers and other expenses planned in the budget-related act.

“The presidential veto takes money from kindergarten and beginner teachers, but abolishes the fireplace tax, which allows unlimited raises for the presidents of state-owned companies and agencies. Shame on you. Merry Christmas, President. I reassure those affected: we will deal with it,” the Prime Minister commented on the X platform Donald Tusk.

Read more: Tusk about the president’s decision >>>

Budget and election promises

On Tuesday, Minister of Finance Andrzej Domański, together with Prime Minister Donald Tusk, presented the most important assumptions of the draft budget for 2024 at a press conference. – This year’s expenditure planned in the 2024 budget is PLN 866 billion, revenues – PLN 682 billion, which means budget deficit at the level of PLN 184 billion – said the head of the Ministry of Finance.

Read also: Poland’s budget for 2024. Here’s what’s in it >>>

– This is obviously a higher deficit than the government planned Mateusz Morawiecki. Higher by approximately PLN 18 billion. Of course, this is a post-election reaction. Tusk’s government must fulfill its election promises, of course under internal coercion. This is a middle ground between economics, macroeconomics and what Tusk’s government promised us, the voters – said the economist.

In his opinion, “the state of public finances is not satisfactory.” – This is not a pre-infarction condition, of course, but it is already disturbing. We should consider whether it is worth thinking about reducing expenses, for example – he said.

He explained that although “in Poland the public debt is over 54 percent (of GDP) planned for next year”, “in the European Union this public debt is much higher”.

– So I think that here the fears of exceeding the limit are excessive public debt, but also the Maastricht criteria – 60 percent (GDP) – are still premature. But we need to be vigilant, he emphasized.

According to the economist, “we must realize that at least an increase in teachers’ salaries is necessary” because “for years these increases have been at a minimal level.”

– An assistant at a university or institute like mine earns only PLN 5 above the national minimum, and from next year the minimum will increase. So it would turn out that, according to laws related to the financing of schools or higher education institutions, an assistant would earn below the national minimum wage. Of course, such increases, and also in the budget, are necessary – noted an employee of the Institute of Rural Development and Agriculture of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Kalinowski on the deficit and election promisesTVN24

Main photo source: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

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