“Under our rule, Poles currently earn almost eighty percent of the EU average,” argued MEP Patryk Jaki in a radio studio. Unfortunately, no data confirms this.
On Monday, October 9, Patryk Jaki, MEP of Solidarna Polska, was a guest of the “Political Salon Trójka” program on Polish Radio. At the end of the program, the host asked the MEP what the most important problems the future government would have to face, regardless of who would form it. Patryk Jaki in answer However, he pointed to the plans of the current government: “First of all, we want to continue investing in our economy. We want Poland to quickly catch up with Europe.” He stated:
Under our government, Poles are currently earning money – this is a shock for many people – but they are earning almost eighty percent of the EU average.
He continued: “And we want to keep chasing these Western countries. That means, firstly, the economy, wage growth; secondly, security. We want to continue to expand our army, because we see that we are in very difficult times. Thirdly, invest in our sovereignty in the form of energy, state-owned enterprises.
Is the MEP right in saying that Poles already earn “almost eighty percent of the EU average”? Indeed, if this were the case, it would be “a shock to many people.” Because for now, as the data show, it is not that good.
“Almost 80 percent of the EU average”? Twice less
Eurostat, the EU statistical office, publishes data on the average annual adjusted salary of full-time workers in EU countries. Statistics are available for 2012-2021. In December 2022, their last update was published – for 2021.
Thus: the average annual adjusted salary of full-time employees in Poland in 2021 was EUR 14,431. It turns out that it was smaller than in Poland only in three EU countries: Romania – 13,000. euro, in Hungary – 12.6 thousand and in Bulgaria – 10.3 thousand.
Meanwhile, the EU average for the 26 member states (not including the Netherlands, which has a different methodology) was EUR 33,511. Therefore, the average annual adjusted salary in Poland was only 43.1%. average in the European Union – and not “almost eighty percent”, as the MEP said.
In mid-2022, HR consulting company Sedlak & Sedlak she published own calculations based on Eurostat data on average monthly earnings in EU countries in 2021. According to them, the average monthly salary in 2021 in our country was EUR 1,170. Meanwhile, the EU average (for 27 countries) was EUR 3,029. So, according to these calculations, the average Polish salary was only 38.6%. EU average.
Kaczyński also talked about 80 percent. – but he was talking about something else
In the quoted statement, MEP Jaki also spoke about investing in the economy and chasing Western Europe. Poland catching up with Western European countries is a thesis of Jarosław Kaczyński repeated many times during the election campaign. However, the PiS president does not compare earnings in Poland with those in the EU. For example, on August 6 in Chełm he said: “Today we have 80 percent of the average GDP per capita in purchasing power, counting in the European Union. Not so long ago we did not even have fifty. But we can quickly have a hundred and much more. We can even catch up with Germany and it is not a matter of a hundred years , or fifty, it may be in the next two decades. Similarly he spoke out On October 8, at the PiS convention in Rzeszów: “Well, we can refer to those eight years during which Poland was ruled by independent people. [od] external centers, independent of this group of enriched people, of this elite, which I said here is not nice, but I do not regret it. And they showed, together with the nation, because of course it was the effort of the entire nation, at least a large part of it, that you can achieve great results, that you can chase Europe. During this time, we had a much higher GDP growth than they did [nasi poprzednicy]. Over thirty percent. For two great crises, it’s really a lot, because we would probably have about forty or maybe even more, although not that much more, but more than forty, if there were no such crises. We have now achieved 80 percent of the European Union average. This is already quite decent.”
In such statements, Kaczyński does not refer to average earnings, but to the level of wealth calculated as the value of GDP per capita, taking into account purchasing power. In 2015, when the United Right took over the government, Poland’s wealth level was 69%. EU average. In 2022 it was already 80%. – serves Eurostat.
October 4 “Rzeczpospolita” she informedthat if the European Commission’s forecasts for 2023 come true, it may turn out that Poland’s wealth level will drop to 78%, i.e. to “almost eighty percent” – and this is the value that MEP Jaki spoke about.
PiS prides itself on catching up with the West and presents these data as its success. However, “Rzeczpospolita” cools down enthusiasm of those in power – as the author of the text notes, the forecasted decline in Poland’s wealth level to 78 percent. will mean that “during the eight years of PiS rule (i.e. at the end of 2023 compared to the end of 2015), it was possible to make up for the gap to the average level of wealth in the EU by approximately 9 percentage points. In turn, during the eight years of rule of the PO coalition –PSL (i.e. at the end of 2015 compared to the end of 2007), this gap was closed by approximately 15 percentage points.
Main photo source: Forum