President Andrzej Duda signed on Friday an ordinance introducing increases for deputy ministers. The matter was commented on by the guests of “Coffee on the bench” on Sunday. – There will always be a bad time for these raises, but this one is extremely bad – said the leader of the New Left, Włodzimierz Czarzasty. According to the Deputy Speaker of the Senate, Michał Kamiński, “the real reason for what we are witnessing is that Jarosław Kaczyński has a majority in the Sejm.”
President Andrzej Duda signed an ordinance introducing increases for deputy ministers on Friday. The new provisions will also benefit deputies and senators, whose salaries depend on the amount of the deputy ministers’ earnings. The new regulations mean increases of several thousand for deputy ministers, heads of central offices, the president of the National Bank of Poland and many others. Higher salaries will apply from August 1.
On Sunday, guests of “Coffee on the bench” responded to the matter: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Piotr Wawrzyk (PiS), Member of the Civic Coalition Izabela Leszczyna, chairman of the New Left, Włodzimierz Czarzasty, MP of Poland 2050 Hanna Gill-Piątek, Deputy Speaker of the Senate Michał Kamiński (PSL) and Artur Dziambor, Member of the Confederation.
Wawrzyk on raising the salaries of politicians
Asked whether this should be the procedure for increasing salaries for politicians, Piotr Wawrzyk replied: – This is Polish law, these issues are regulated by the president’s decree. Do you expect me to challenge the president’s competences?
The deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that in the coming days the Sejm will receive a draft which “is of a non-political nature, because it makes the remuneration of people holding public office dependent on the average remuneration”. – The remuneration of persons holding public office in the state results from the so-called base amount. This project assumes that this amount will be indexed by the average annual increase in salaries by the Central Statistical Office – he explained.
The minister stated that “these increases are generally criticized by those who generally believe – and repeat it in the so-called interim – that deputy ministers earn badly and should earn more”. “And now, when there is a discussion on a specific topic, all these people say that this project is bad after all,” he added.
Hazel: the salary of politicians should depend on the average salary in the economy
– Let’s start with the fact that this is not President Duda’s decision, because he has never made any significant decision. This is Jarosław Kaczyński’s decision, argued Izabela Leszczyna.
In her opinion, “the salary of the highest state officials and parliamentarians should depend on the average wage in the economy and the minimum wage should also depend on it.” – It cannot be that the party satrap decides what is the minimum salary and how much the deputies are to earn – she said.
The deputy pointed out that as a result of the pandemic, the economy was in a recession. – At such a moment, such a drastic increase in the salaries of MPs, who are viewed as horrifically as the entire government by nepotism, cronyism and PiS scandals, is caused by two things by Kaczyński. First of all, it wants to suck the entire opposition into this mud, in which they have been wetting their scandals for several years, and the second reason is that there are fewer State Treasury companies than MPs from Law and Justice, Solidarity Poland and the Agreement and their local activists . Those who did not get sinecures in those places came to Kaczyński and threatened with a rebellion – said Leszczyna.
Gill- Friday: Politicians should not set their own wages
Hanna Gill-Piątek recalled that the pay rises for politicians were voted in the Sejm a year ago. – And it was a huge scandal. I remember that it was not possible to introduce these increases due to social resistance – she added.
Referring to the president’s regulation on pay rises for deputy ministers, she stressed that “it should not be done during summer holidays, not this way”. – Certainly, when it comes to such a sensitive topic as the earnings of politicians, we (we parliamentarians – ed.) Should decide about it, but for the next term of office and it would be a reasonable postulate. Meanwhile, we have a situation in which the anti-corruption law passes through the Sejm and when Poland 2050 proposes an amendment to make it apply immediately, this amendment is dropped and this ban will apply from the next term of office. However, the increases are being introduced right now – noted the deputy.
According to her, “politicians should not set their own salaries, which are given by a single presidential ordinance”. “This is some kind of scandal,” she said.
Czarzasty: This is an extremely bad time for a raise
Włodzimierz Czarzasty assessed the increases for politicians “unequivocally bad”. – If during a pandemic we constantly referred to public sector employees, to the health service, to employees related to education, to officials, praising them for their work, these people should be served with possible pay rises in the first place – said the Deputy Speaker of the Sejm.
As he stated, “there will always be a bad time for these hikes, but this one is extremely bad”. – As for the formula and terrible to the moment. It makes a cunning impression – he decided.
According to him, “these increases closed the matter related to the length of the term” of the Seym. – I think many people will think: this is a good place to work also in terms of mercantile – he added.
The leader of the Left admitted that a year ago, when the salary increases for politicians were voted, “we got maneuvered and made the wrong decision about the increases, we apologized for that.” His party then voted in favor of the project.
Kamiński: Jarosław Kaczyński has a majority in the Sejm
– The real reason for what we are witnessing is that Jarosław Kaczyński has a long majority in the Sejm, which is not there – commented Michał Kamiński.
As he said, “it is not without reason that this promise of pay rises for MPs fell on this dramatic parliamentary club of Law and Justice, without Gowin, where Jarosław Kaczyński did what he can do, and now he needs it very much, that is, he has consolidated his power.”
He added that “the alternative to Kaczyński is even worse in terms of social perception”. As an example, he gave the fact that the PiS president “had to humiliate himself to accept MP Kołakowski again, and then all of Poland found out that he had become the bank’s advisor.”
Dziambor: the specter of the dissolution of the Seym is still haunting
– Indeed, there are quite a lot of State Treasury companies and the MPs have become entrenched there very much – said Dziambor. He recalled that Janusz Korwin Mikke “has always said that state-owned companies should be privatized ultimately in order to take away these toys from politicians”. – Then there would be no wife of Mr. Sobolewski in four supervisory boards, there would be no other politicians who fill their friends and their families in various positions – said the member of the Confederation.
– There are some deputies who did not fill themselves, but sit in this Sejm and serve Jarosław Kaczyński for 15-20 years, for example, and they, seeing this debauchery of those who filled themselves in state-owned companies, certainly had a grudge against Jarosław Kaczyński: – look, we’re sitting here for a paltry 6,000, and there you’re staffing people of 30,000-40,000. Come on, do something, hello, said Dziambor.
He added that “the specter of the dissolution of the Seym is still haunting”. – We are constantly scared that either the Polish Order will enter, or there will be no parliament, there will be new elections – he admitted.
– It may indeed be the case that thanks to these increases, those MPs who may and would more willingly vote in favor of the dissolution of the Sejm, will now see these increases and say: let’s wait, speculated the guest of “Coffee to the Bench”.
He also declared that if such a motion appeared, the Confederation would vote for the dissolution of the Seym.
Main photo source: TVN24