During the eight years of their rule and during several election campaigns, Law and Justice politicians announced the introduction of numerous reforms. So that the lives of Poles change for the better. Not all of them have been implemented. At the start of the next election campaign, we decided to check and recall those that we failed to fill.
“Work, not promises” – with this slogan Law and Justice went to the parliamentary elections in 2015. In accompanying him spot Beata Szydło was convincing, which bills her government will submit to the Sejm during the first hundred days of the term of office. She mentioned: “the introduction of PLN 500 per child”; “CIT tax for entrepreneurs 15 percent” (a note appeared on the screen that it was about small entrepreneurs); “free drugs for seniors over 75”; “minimum hourly rate PLN 12 gross”.
In later years, Law and Justice politicians were fond of emphasizing that those and subsequent promises are fulfilled. “If someone promises something and then does not implement it, then the democratic act, the most important one – elections – turns into an empty procedure” – assessed PiS president Jarosław Kaczyński during the party convention in September 2018, before the local elections. And he added: “We are implementing our promises, and in any case we are going towards their implementation.”
A few days later, the prime minister spoke in a similar tone: “You can say a lot, but you have to keep your word – we kept our word in the government, we will also keep our word in the local government” – said Mateusz Morawiecki at a rally in Namysłów.
During a tour of the country in 2022, Jarosław Kaczyński again assured that the party fulfills its promises, even if it does not always come out: “Although not everything has worked – we are not people who lie. We are ready to admit what has not been done, to our some deficiency or mistake. But really a lot has been done for our homeland and Poles, and in many areas” – stated in July 2022 in Białystok.
Law and Justice can indeed boast of successes: as the group’s leaders announced, they introduced a benefit of PLN 500, first for the first child, then for each child; as announced, lower secondary schools were liquidated and an eight-year primary school was restored (whether this is a success is a debatable issue). We almost managed to raise the minimum wage to the announced amount – in 2023 it was supposed to be PLN 4,000 gross, now it is PLN 400 lower. Some infrastructural investments were commissioned: a ditch through the Vistula Spit or the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline.
However, many of the promises remained on paper. The Konkret 24 team has collected and verified those promises of the United Right camp that remain unfulfilled. We started our search at the beginning of 2015 – it was then, along with the accelerating presidential campaign of Andrzej Duda, that the right wing’s march for power began. We looked at two presidential campaigns, also two parliamentary campaigns, local government elections and elections to the European Parliament – because it is before elections that politicians usually promise a lot. But we also looked at the time between elections: did the words spoken publicly by those in power materialize.
In this way, a collection of dozens of promises was created, which the United Right had made in recent years, but “did not deliver”. We will publish the next parts of the series on Konkret24.tvn24.pl and on the homepage TVN24.pl.
The list is open – we check the speeches of the president, PiS politicians, Solidarna Polska 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Tens of thousands, one hundred thousand, three million flats under the Mieszkanie plus programme
These will be apartments that will be rented out. We assume that rents for such an apartment will range from PLN 10-20 per square meter. But this rental will be an option to own. This program is universal and available in every region of Poland.
The Apartment plus program, where in 2019, this is my commitment (…), will be under construction, 100,000 apartments from this program are to be under construction.
The amendment to the Act on the National Real Estate Stock guarantees the implementation of 100,000 sqm. flats mentioned by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Implementation status: PARTIALLY COMPLETED
Presented in June 2016and started a few months later, in october The Mieszkanie Plus program is one of the government’s flagship programs, which was supposed to support Poles who, for various reasons, cannot afford to buy a flat. The solutions were to facilitate the construction of apartments for rent with moderate rents, using public land, e.g. owned by PKP, mine, Poczta Polska, the Military Property Agency, and an agricultural agency. At the beginning, it was reported that letters of intent had been signed with local governments for the construction of six thousand premises. However, it turned out relatively quickly that Mieszkanie plus was a failure.
The failure of the program was admitted by the rulers themselves: “I do not claim that I am satisfied with the progress and pace of work” – said in March 2019, then Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydło. At that time, 480 apartments built under the program were completed.
Also, the president of PiS, Jarosław Kaczyński, during his tour of the country in 2022, stated several times that “Mieszkanie plus unfortunately did not work out.” “The resistance of the developers turned out to be so strong, and some other features of our society led to the failure to overcome everything that hinders the acquisition of cheap land for housing construction” – explained the failures of the president. Previously, the president set more ambitious goals for the program: “As part of the Mieszkanie plus program, we would like to build 2.5 to 3 million cheap apartments in the coming years. It is a bold goal, but feasible” – Jarosław Kaczyński wrote in the letteri. It was read out during the solemn ceremony of handing over the keys to the apartments built as part of the program in Biała Podlaska in May 2018.
When Mateusz Morawiecki announced in April 2018 that after a year he would have “100,000 apartments under construction”. After a few days he added: “You will hold me accountable, you will look at today’s date and next year in April we will see whether at least 40, 50, 60,000 apartments from this “Mieszkanie plus” program will be built.
Nothing came of the promises – in August 2019 Paweł Borys, president of the Polish Development Fund, spokethat “nearly 18,000 apartments are being designed, and another 18,000 are waiting for investment decisions. In the course of due diligence analyzes (i.e. checking the real estate, including in terms of legal or tax situation – ed.) there are real estates on which another nearly 20,000 apartments.
In November 2022, during a visit to Olsztyn, Jarosław Kaczyński calculated that under the program “there are currently 40,000 apartments, including those under construction, so much too little.” According to information available on the website of the Ministry of Development and Technology at the end of January 2023, as part of the market and social part of the Mieszkanie plus programme, 19.7 thous. residential premises, incl. in Biała Podlaska, Dębica, Jarocin and Wałbrzych. 30.6 thousand sqm remain under construction. premises, including in Lębork, Katowice, Wrocław and Szczecin. This gives a total of around 50,000. apartments, i.e. half of what Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced for 2019.
But Mieszkanie plus is not the only promise related to the real estate market.
2. Creation of social rental agencies
Secure tenancy with affordable rent has been a dream for too long. It’s time to finally change that. Social rental agencies are institutions which, thanks to preferential tax solutions and the guarantee of a long-term contract, will be able to lease premises from the market at lower prices, and then rent them to tenants indicated by the municipality.
Implementation status: NOT REALIZED
The idea of creating social rental agencies appeared in the chapter “A decade of development” as part of the Strategic Investment Program “Polish Order”. In principle, such agencies were to be “entities cooperating with the municipality, which mediate between owners of apartments for rent and people whose income or life situation make it difficult to rent an apartment in market conditions”.
In practice, such agencies were to conclude cooperation agreements with municipalities, and then lease apartments for rent from their owners, and thus become an intermediary between the apartment owner and the potential tenant. The owners were to reduce the rent in exchange for a guarantee of timely rent payments and maintenance of the apartments in good technical condition, which was to be taken care of by the agency itself. Cheaper apartments were to go to people who do not qualify for renting municipal housing, but at the same time cannot afford rent at market rates.
The legal basis, i.e. the amendment to the act on certain forms of supporting housing construction, was passed in May 2021, and from July 2021 it was possible to create social rental agencies. How reported however, in October 2022, the Bankier.pl portal, not a single such agency was established for over a year. “The creation of SANs is hindered, among others, by the increase in rental rates for apartments, which makes it much more profitable for owners to rent them on the commercial market” – the journalists explained.
The situation has not changed since then. In response to our question of March 22, 2023, the Ministry of Development and Technology informed that “there is currently no Social Rental Agency operating.” It was added that at the moment the first three institutions of this type are being created in Poznań, Warsaw and Sopot.
3. Kaczyński: apartments for 2.5-3 thousand. PLN per square meter
We need cheap apartments for two and a half, maybe three, but preferably two and a half thousand zlotys per square meter. Those that can be repaid over 20-30 years so that the installments are low.
Implementation status: NOT REALIZED
A week before the parliamentary elections in 2015, President Kaczyński at the convention in Krakow he spoke about housing construction “available to an ordinary Pole” and stated that in Poland flats are needed “preferably for two and a half thousand zlotys per square meter”. Even then, experts commenting on these words, e.g. Monika Kurtek, chief economist of Bank Pocztowy in Polskie Radio 24 she saidthat “he treats it as another election promise that will not necessarily be realized at the proposed price”, and “Super Express” specified this price as “a bit cosmic”. According to NBP data, already at that time the average offer price per square meter in the 10 largest Polish cities was almost PLN 5,000. PLN, which is twice as much as President Kaczyński said.
Since then, housing prices have not only failed to decrease, but have actually increased significantly. In the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the data of the National Bank of Poland, the average offer price per square meter in the ten largest Polish cities was PLN 9.3 thousand. PLN, and the transaction price is PLN 8.8 thousand. zloty. Prices in individual large cities were as follows:
As you can see, both when President Kaczyński said these words and now, apartments are much more expensive than PLN 2,500-3,000. PLN per square meter, which is why we consider this promise unfulfilled.
Main photo source: Tomasz Koryszko/PAP/Antonina Długosińska