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Minus promises. They announced the reduction of administration and billions in savings. It’s the other way around

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Being in opposition, PiS argued that the state administration in Poland is too extensive and inefficient. He promised that when he came to power, that would change. Indeed, there is a change: employment in the administration is even greater, and costs are rising.

When in April 2023, President Andrzej Duda appointed more new ministers to the government of Mateusz Morawiecki – Robert Telus replaced Henryk Kowalczyk as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Janusz Cieszyński himself replaced the Prime Minister as Minister of Digital Affairs – the Polish government became the most numerous cabinet in the history of the Third Republic, i.e. after 1989. Together with secretaries and undersecretaries of state (commonly called deputy ministers), the government consisted of 112 people in all ministries and in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.

This is the best illustration of the actions at odds with the idea of ​​a “cheap and efficient state” proclaimed for years by Law and Justice. Already before the elections in 2005, this party wrote in its election program: “We believe that the state administration in Poland is hugely developed, inefficient and often corrupt. We have specific proposals to ‘slim down’ the state administration.” PiS repeated it once again after winning elections in 2019. And he made a promise to reduce the administration, which was supposed to bring savings in the expose Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

We will carry out a fundamental review of state institutions, reduce bureaucracy and administration, and in this way we will save at least several billion zlotys.

This is what the Prime Minister said in the Sejm, convincing that “the government is a tool for citizens to build their state”.

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Implementation status: NOT REALIZED

According to data from the Central Statistical Office at the end of 2019 – a month after the prime minister’s exposé – 455.2 thousand people worked in public administration. people. Including 186.6 thous. in state administration, and 267.6 thous. in the administration of local government. The Central Statistical Office also adds less than a thousand people working in local government appeal boards.

In 2020, it was indeed possible to reduce the size of the public administration. At the end of 2020, it employed 453.6 thousand people. people – i.e. 1.6 thousand. less than a year earlier. However, it was the result of the reduction of employment in the local government administration, which employed 1.5 thousand people. fewer people than at the end of 2019. Employment in the state administration has not changed significantly.

One of the main reasons for layoffs at the time was the COVID-19 pandemic facing the government reduced employment among others in offices serving government administration bodies in voivodeships.

Five thousand administration employees more than in 2019

The expansion of the administration began in 2021. At the end of that year, 456.3 thousand people worked in the entire public administration. people – over a thousand more than in 2019. This was the result of an increase in employment both in the state administration (increase by 694 employees compared to 2019) and in the local government administration (increase by 448 people).

In 2022, the number of public administration grew even faster – at the end of that year, 460.9 thousand people worked in this sphere. people. It was by 5.7 thousand. more than at the end of 2019.

The promise to reduce the administration was therefore not only not fulfilled, but three years later even more people worked in the public administration. How has this affected government spending?

Billions of zlotys more

The announced reduction in the administration was supposed to save the state budget “at least several billion zlotys”. However, as the number of employees increased, so did the expenses for this sector.

Minus promises. Piotr Jaźwiński on how PiS announced “listening to citizens”TVN24

IN budget act for 2019, it was planned to spend PLN 14.51 billion on section 750 – Public administration. In the following years, the planned amounts increased: 2020 (after the amendment) – PLN 16.04 billion; 2021 (after the amendment) – PLN 17.20 billion; 2022 – PLN 18.41 billion; 2023 – PLN 20.71 billion. This year, the government plans to spend PLN 6.2 billion more on public administration than in 2019, when Prime Minister Morawiecki made a promise.

In fact, since 2019, the government has spent more on the administration than originally assumed in the budget or even in the amendments, and so: in 2019 – PLN 15.4 billion; in 2020 – PLN 26.30 billion; in 2021 – PLN 32.6 billion. The significantly higher expenses in 2020 and 2021 were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the public administration had to perform additional tasks.

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The MP asks, the deputy minister writes about the pandemic and the war

In May 2022, Hanna Gill-Piątek, a non-affiliated MP elected from the lists of the Democratic Left Alliance, became interested in this topic. IN inquiry addressed to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, she reminded that in the expose “he announced a review of state institutions, reduction of bureaucracy and savings of several billion zlotys” – and asked: “What budget savings have been achieved in this area since then, if only to reduce bureaucracy?” .

This question was answered in July 2022 by Deputy Minister of Finance Artur Soboń: he did not provide any figures, but stated that the situation compared to 2019 has changed significantly as a result of the pandemic and then the war in Ukraine, which resulted in a greater number of tasks for the state and the need to have specialized personnel.

Soboń wrote, among other things: “Compared to 2019, we are after another, already fourth, wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the outbreak of war in Ukraine on February 24 this year completely changed the outlook for the economy in the current and next year.” He explained that the epidemic “caused the threat of mass unemployment and the collapse of many areas of the economy”, and this “required measures to counteract this phenomenon”, which increased the number of tasks of the state. “Further perturbations related to the war in Ukraine also make it necessary for the state to act on many levels and to have specialized personnel capable of implementing them,” he added.

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In his reply, the deputy finance minister did not mention any savings that the downsizing of the administration was supposed to bring. As we have shown, more than three years after that announcement, both employment in the administration and expenditure on it increased, which is why we consider the prime minister’s promise as unfulfilled.

How the series “Promises minus” was created

The Konkret24 team collected and verified the promises of the United Right camp, which remain unfulfilled at the end of the second term. We started looking for promises at the beginning of 2015 – it was then, along with the accelerating presidential campaign of Andrzej Duda, that the march of the right wing for power began. We reviewed the promises from two presidential campaigns, two parliamentary campaigns, local government elections and elections to the European Parliament – because it is before the elections that politicians usually promise a lot. We checked whether, in the period between the elections, the announcements made publicly by the rulers materialized. This is how a collection of dozens of promises was created, which the United Right made in recent years, but “did not deliver”. We will publish the next parts of the series on the website Konkret24.tvn24.pli on the main page of Tvn24.pl.

The list is open – we check the speeches of the president, politicians of PiS, Sovereign Poland and the Republican Party on an ongoing basis. We encourage readers to contact us and submit proposals for verification. This can be done both via the form on the website and by e-mail to konkret24@tvn.pl.

Main photo source: natasaelena/Shutterstock

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