The current version of the loan holiday scheme expires at the end of the year, so it is urgent to find out whether it will be extended. Mariusz Błaszczak said that the new Sejm would want to introduce restrictions in this program. Meanwhile, the still working government of Mateusz Morawiecki has already done so in an amendment to the act. We explain.
On November 17, the head of the PiS parliamentary club and acting Minister of National Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak commented on website X: “The parliamentary majority will limit the loan holiday program presented by the government.” This is how he commented on a quote published on Radio Zet’s profile from a conversation with Andrzej Domański, an MP from the Civic Coalition and Donald Tusk’s economic advisor: “We absolutely do not rule out that some form of credit holidays will be maintained next year, but it should be addressed to people actually need such help. Access should be limited.
The parliamentary majority will limit the loan holiday program presented by the government. It is only a matter of time when they will do the same with 800+ and the 13th and 14th pension. Instead of social programs, there will be a rotation program on stools and podcasts from the marshal. https://t.co/fDim0HCHtF
— Mariusz Błaszczak (@mblaszczak) November 17, 2023
This was a summary of Domański’s statement, because on the radio the KO MP said that his group does not rule out that some form of loan holidays will be maintained next year, and according to him, it should be addressed to people who actually need such help, because market conditions are changing, including .among others interest rates are falling. He added: “But of course it will be the government’s decision and please wait for the decision of the new government.”
However, Mariusz Błaszczak used this statement to threaten that the new parliamentary majority – i.e. the Civic Coalition, Third Way and New Left – would limit the loan holiday program. However, this is manipulation, because PiS politicians themselves – members of the government of which Mariusz Błaszczak was a part – have been announcing restrictions on loan holidays for 2024 for two months now. What’s more: “limitations on the list of persons entitled to benefit from loan repayment suspension” are included in the draft bill that Mateusz Morawiecki’s government submitted to the Sejm.
Morawiecki on loan holidays: “definitely not for everyone”, “we are implementing the income criterion”
Let us remind you: credit holidays are the common name for the possibility of suspending the repayment of a mortgage loan in PLN. In July 2022, it introduced this option act on crowdfunding for business ventures and assistance to borrowers. In 2022 and 2023, borrowers who met the conditions could suspend loan repayment for a total of four months a year: one installment in each quarter. The conditions for taking advantage of the loan holidays did not concern either the borrower’s income or the loan amount: the loan only had to be taken out before July 1, 2022, and its repayment was to end at least six months after that date.
The program in its current version expires at the end of 2023 and even before the elections, government members were asked whether the loan holidays would be extended. They answered affirmatively, at the same time announcing limitations to the program, specifically: the income criterion. The extension of the loan holidays was officially announced on September 20, 2023 by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki:
This decision is already made, I can pass it on. We are extending the loan holidays for the entire next year, but we are implementing the income criterion.
He said that he had already ordered the development of “fair” income criteria. On the same day, in the “Guest of Events” program, when asked whether the income criterion means that holidays will not be for everyone, the Prime Minister replied:
Not for everyone, certainly not for everyone. So that wealthy people who can afford to repay their loans should not take advantage of credit holidays, but simply repay them. This (income – ed.) threshold is now being developed by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.
Waldemar Buda: “there will be criteria that we will propose in the act”
Waldemar Buda, Minister of Development and Technology, responsible for housing in the government, had already talked about the income criterion. In an interview for Interia on September 12, he admitted that “he is in favor of introducing a threshold for very high earners.” “For those who have a very high loan, but also very high earnings, for luxury real estate. However, all those who earn average and low income should be eligible for holidays,” said the minister.
After the elections on October 19, Waldemar Buda confirmed that the act prepared by the government included criteria, although he assured that “the majority of people who took advantage of the holidays will be able to take advantage of them.” He said on Radio Three:
There will be criteria that we will propose in this act. (…) I don’t want to reveal the details (…), but most people who took advantage of the holidays will be able to take advantage of them. Of the two million people who took advantage of the holidays, between 1.7 million and 1.75 million will certainly take advantage of them.
Draft law prepared by PiS: “restrictions on the catalog of eligible persons”
Draft amendment to the Act it was submitted to the Sejm on November 3, but the chamber did not meet until the end of the term and the document was discontinued. Therefore, the government once again adopted it in an unchanged form – on November 16, and on that day it submitted it to the Sejm again. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on social media he asked to the new Speaker of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, “asking for efficient proceedings in this matter.”
We directed to @KancelariaSejmu draft bill on credit holidays for 2024! The Sejm should consider this act at its next session.
— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) November 16, 2023
On Friday, November 17, the draft bill submitted to the Sejm and on the same day it was sent to the Legislative Office of the Sejm.
As announced by PiS politicians, the amendment to the act limits the list of people eligible to take advantage of credit holidays – although this is not a classic income criterion. The justification for the project reads: “It is proposed that the suspension of repayment on the terms applicable in 2023 would also be possible in 2024,” but at the same time:
However, in relation to the applicable regulations, it is proposed to introduce restrictions on the list of persons entitled to benefit from suspension of loan repayment.
Namely, the loan cannot be higher than PLN 800,000. zloty. If the loan amount is between PLN 400,000 and PLN 800,000, PLN, the borrower can take advantage of loan holidays only if the expenses related to servicing the monthly capital and interest installment of the loan exceed half of the average monthly income of his household. Conditions for loans lower than PLN 400,000. They remain unchanged.
So Mariusz Błaszczak, writing on November 17 that the Sejm majority would limit the loan holiday program, was manipulating – because on the same day the Sejm received a draft amendment to the act by the government of Mateusz Morawiecki, which already assumes restrictions in the program.
Main photo source: PAP/Radek Pietruszka