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Friday, October 22, 2021

Rafał Trzaskowski on the “Polish Lada”: Warsaw will lose 1.7 billion zlotys annually

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The president of the capital, Rafał Trzaskowski, warns against the effects that local governments may experience in connection with the adoption of new tax regulations as part of the Polish Deal. As he points out, Warsaw may lose up to PLN 1.7 billion annually, which may result in cuts in city expenses, and this will affect the inhabitants. An example is the cost of travel by public transport. – If the city did not finance transport, instead of three zlotys we would pay 13 zlotys for one ticket – he indicated.

The President of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, met with journalists on Wednesday to discuss the negative consequences of the government’s program of the Polish Deal. He was accompanied by the president of Sopot, Jacek Karnowski, and the mayor of the commune, Izabelin, Dorota Zmarzlak. According to local government officials, the latest draft tax act, which is an important element of the Polish Governance, changes the algorithm of the share of municipalities in taxes so that local governments, especially large and medium-sized cities, are condemned to huge losses.

The consequences of adopting new regulations were scored by the president of the capital. – Today, the rulers make decisions that are to take away billions from local governments. According to the Regulatory Impact Assessment, this so-called Polish Order is to take over PLN 150 billion from local governments. Local governments are to lose 15 billion annually, including Warsaw itself, 1.7 billion annually. It is true that after the compensation it will be PLN 1.2 billion, but only in one year – said Trzaskowski.


Trzaskowski calls the government program “Polish disorder”

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He explained that the tax mechanisms are built in such a way that large and medium-sized cities are to suffer the most, while “the central budget is to be in a small plus”. He emphasized that any compensation for local governments, including those resulting from the recently passed act by the Sejm, will cover losses to a small extent, especially in the largest cities.

– The most important thing is that the government completely changes the philosophy of the functioning of the state. He wants to achieve full centralization, so that ministers will decide whether there will be investments in cities and towns, or whether a street will be renovated. The prime minister says that he will green the streets, so the government is to decide where the trees will be in Warsaw or which street will be renovated in Sopot – argued the mayor of Warsaw. – It is an upside-down reversal of the “Polish disorder” of the Polish system – he added.

Trzaskowski argued that the entry into force of the Polish Order in its current form will result in the necessity of huge cuts not only in local government investments, but also in fixed expenses, such as education, culture, and sport.

– If this comes into force, we will continue to fulfill our duties, but we also carry out many things additionally. For example, two-thirds of public transport are municipal surcharges. If the city did not finance transport, instead of three zlotys, we would pay 13 zlotys for one ticket – he pointed out. – We subsidize independent culture, maintain non-governmental organizations that the government does not currently support, we pay for hospitals, for education, we subsidize teachers’ salaries. Unfortunately, all these expenses will be at risk if the rulers want to introduce such far-reaching cuts for local governments, said Trzaskowski.

He added that the losses related to inflation and the pandemic also contribute. – All this leads to the fact that the situation of local governments becomes critical – he said. – If the rulers want to relieve the least earners, as I understand them, they should do it with budget money, and not transfer all the costs of the reform to local governments – argued the Mayor of Warsaw.

– We are trying to make our inhabitants aware that this is a war declared to all inhabitants of cities, towns and villages. Also PiS voters. If Warsaw loses money, not only Trzaskowski will lose it, but all Warsaw residents, including those who voted for PiS, he added.

Main photo source: UM Warsaw

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