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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Presidential veto. Bonds for TVP and more. “The second biggest accounting trick of the Morawiecki government”

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In the years 2017-2023, the government provided treasury bonds worth almost PLN 100 billion, of which PLN 10 billion for TVP. It was a hidden budget deficit, said economist Dr. Sławomir Dudek, president and founder of the Institute of Public Finance.

“In the years 2017-2023, the transfer of bonds amounted to almost PLN 100 billion. Of this, TVP was only PLN 10 billion,” Dudek wrote on social media.

“These PLN 100 billion were a hidden budget deficit. This is the second biggest accounting trick of the Morawiecki government. The first is the COVID-19 fund at BGK,” he added.

Bonds and the state budget deficit

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The economist cited formulations from the analysis of the state budget in 2022 by the Supreme Audit Office (NIK).

“It should be emphasized that due to (…) the transfer of public funds in the form of treasury securities, bypassing the state budget, there has been a significant reduction in its rank in the public finance system. Since 2020, the state budget deficit has ceased to serve as an important indicator for assessing the scale of financial imbalance state, and conclusions based on its size or changes could lead to incorrect assessments,” wrote the Supreme Audit Office.

The Chamber’s report added that “transferring funds in the form of Treasury securities to units not covered by the expenditure rule (…) made it possible to bypass the expenditure restrictions imposed by this rule.”

“In 2021-2022, the Minister of Finance was authorized to transfer Treasury securities worth at least PLN 27.4 billion to these entities,” it was indicated.

Dudek emphasized that “this year alone, bonds were transferred 20 times, for the amount of PLN 19 billion” and “the state budget deficit was reduced by this amount this year.”

Billions for TVP, president’s veto

On Saturday evening, the president announced that he had decided to veto the budget-related act for 2024, which included the possibility of transferring PLN 3 billion to public media. There cannot be consent to this in view of the flagrant violation of the Constitution and the principles of a democratic state of law, he explained Andrzej Duda.

The decision took place after the Sejm adopted a resolution on the restoration of legal order and the impartiality and reliability of the public media and the Polish Press Agency, and then the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, as the body exercising the ownership rights of the State Treasury, dismissed the previous presidents of the management boards of Telewizja Polska SA , Polskie Radio SA and Polish Press Agency SA and supervisory boards. The minister also appointed new supervisory boards of these companies, which appointed new management boards.

Due to the president’s veto, the head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, announced on Wednesday that decided to put into liquidation the companies Telewizja Polska SA, Polskie Radio SA and Polska Agencja Prasowa SA The state of liquidation may be withdrawn at any time by the owner – added in the statement of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Main photo source: PAP/Leszek Szymański

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