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Monday, February 26, 2024

“Tusk offered entrepreneurs an increase in ZUS contributions”? Manipulation in the PiS message

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“The new government attacked employers”; “Donald Tusk offered entrepreneurs an increase in ZUS contributions”; “Contributions were supposed to be lower, but they will be higher,” PiS politicians warn. This is a manipulative message. If there was no change in government, the ZUS contribution for entrepreneurs would increase by the same amount in 2024.

A few days before Christmas, Donald Tusk’s government presented a new draft of the state budget for 2024. Immediately after the holidays, the media published articles discussing increases in ZUS contributions in 2024. “Contributions go up sharply. Bad news for 2 million Poles” – the website reported, for example, in the title of a text from December 27 Money.pl, who quoted data from “Fakt”. Law and Justice politicians and Internet users supporting this party used this information to accuse Donald Tusk and his government of increasing ZUS contributions, i.e. acting inconsistently with the promises made.

“Do you remember when the Civic Coalition and Trzecia Droga said that they would reduce the costs of running a business? They are increasing,” PiS MP Andrzej Śliwka (original spelling of the posts) warned on December 27 on the X platform (formerly Twitter). His entry quickly became popular, it has over 200,000 views. views. “Tusk announced that he would not increase taxes. As always, he lied. Facts: from 2024, ZUS contributions for entrepreneurs will increase by almost PLN 250,” he said. post MP Kazimierz Smoliński. PiS MEP Zbigniew Kuźmiuk he wrote: “ZUS was supposed to be voluntary for entrepreneurs, but there is a sudden increase in the contribution by PLN 250.”

“News @Platforma_org! All increases current: electricity, ZUS, water, VAT…” – assessed MP Jacek Sasin. “Instead of ‘voluntary ZUS’ in the government’s draft budget, Donald Tusk offered entrepreneurs an increase in ZUS contributions from PLN 1,730 to PLN 1,980.” – he wrote Oskar Szafarowicz from the PiS Youth Forum. “The new government attacked employers, who largely voted for them. ZUS was supposed to be voluntary, contributions were supposed to be lower, but they will be higher. The increase will be huge” – he stated Michał Wójcik from Solidarna Polska.

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Misleading posts by PiS politicians about the increase in ZUS contributions in 2024 x.com

PiS MPs were supported in spreading this message by Internet users (“ZUS up, fuel up. Tusk = Increases”) and some websites. “In our ‘humor’ section, we also noted the work of Internet users who laugh at the government’s gymnastics regarding ZUS contributions. It may not be voluntary, but it will be higher!” – wrote the website Niezalezna.pl. And the portal Wpolityce.pl He called the increase in ZUS contributions Tusk’s gift for entrepreneurs.

ZUS contributions will indeed increase significantly in 2024. But is this – anecdotal – “Tusk’s fault”? We explain the manipulation in the narrative of PiS politicians on this topic.

The increase in ZUS contributions depends on the average salary

Contrary to the false message of Law and Justice politicians, annual changes in the amount of ZUS contributions for entrepreneurs depend on the forecast average gross monthly salary in the national economy. It is specified in the budget act for a given year – but is announced in “Monitor Polski” by the Minister of Family and Social Policy by the end of the previous year. The basis for ZUS contributions for entrepreneurs is 60%. average salary. Therefore, the higher the salary, the higher the ZUS contribution.

In turn, the amount of the average salary is influenced by the amount of the minimum wage. The minimum amount of health insurance premium also depends on it. How is this determined? The Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy submits a minimum wage proposal to the Council of Ministers. If the proposal is accepted, it is consulted by the Social Dialogue Council, which includes representatives of the government, trade unions and employers’ organizations. RDS submits its proposal to the Council of Ministers by July 15. If he fails to do so, the government itself will set the minimum wage by September 15. However, it cannot be lower than the first proposal adopted by the Council of Ministers.

The Morawiecki government planned the same increase in ZUS contributions

And so: the amount of the minimum wage in 2024 determined by the government in September 2023 Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. From January 1, 2024, the minimum salary will be PLN 4,242, which means an increase by PLN 752 (21.5%) compared to the same period. However, from July 1, 2024, the lowest salary will be PLN 4,300, which means an increase by PLN 700 (19.4%) compared to the same period. So it was not Donald Tusk’s government that decided in this regard.

The average gross monthly salary in 2023 was PLN 6,935. In 2024, it is expected to amount to PLN 7,824 – an increase of 12.8%. Therefore, the ZUS contribution will increase by this amount. It is true that the amount of PLN 7,824 is included in the project budget presented in December 2023 by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Minister of Finance Andrzej Domański – but this is the same amount that was in the project budget presented in September 2023 by the government of Mateusz Morawiecki. Therefore, it cannot be claimed that “Tusk offered entrepreneurs an increase in ZUS contributions”, because If there was no change in government, the ZUS contribution would increase by the same amount in 2024. It is the result of the policy of the Morawiecki government. PiS politicians in their current narrative do not inform that already in the fall of 2023after the United Right government presented the budget, industry media and economic experts raised alarms about a sharp increase in burdens on entrepreneurs in 2024.

On the left, a fragment of Prime Minister Morawiecki’s budget, on the right – of Prime Minister Tusk. The projected average salary is the same sejm.gov.pl

For years, both the average and minimum wages have been increasing every year – and this is automatically associated with an increase in ZUS contributions.

What ZUS contributions in 2024

As we write above, since the average gross salary will increase by 12.8% in 2024, the ZUS contribution will increase by the same amount. According to inFakt calculations individual elements of the so-called premium large ZUS, paid by almost 2 million entrepreneurs not covered by preferences, are to be: – retirement pension: PLN 916.35 (currently PLN 812.23), – disability pension: PLN 375.55 (currently PLN 332.88), – accident insurance: PLN 78.40 (now PLN 69.49), – Labor/Solidarity Fund: PLN 115.01 (currently PLN 101.94), – voluntary sick leave: PLN 115.01 (currently PLN 101.94).

The sum of the so-called contributions large ZUS in 2024 will amount to PLN 1,600.32, and in 2023 it was PLN 1,418.48. The increase is PLN 181.84 (12.8%). A year ago the increase was PLN 207. However, the health insurance premium must be added to the above amounts. For taxpayers settling on a tax scale or flat tax it will amount to at least PLN 381.78 (currently PLN 314.10). This means that these two groups of entrepreneurs will pay a total of at least PLN 1,982 in ZUS contributions per month. Annually, this burden will not be lower than PLN 23,784.60.

Entrepreneurs who settle with a registered lump sum will only learn the amount of the health insurance contribution in January 2024. The contribution basis for this group of taxpayers is determined on the basis of the average salary from the fourth quarter.

– In my opinion, the effects of the continuous increase in ZUS contributions will be felt in prices. Of course, this is not the only component influencing their height, but it is very important. Let us remember that in 2021, ZUS contributions, net of part of the health insurance contribution, amounted to approximately PLN 1,139 and this was the real cost borne by the entrepreneur – commented Piotr Juszczyk, chief tax advisor at inFakta, in an interview with TVN24 Biznes in October. – In 2024, it will be a minimum of nearly PLN 2,000. The jump is therefore huge, and it must be remembered that the amount of health insurance contributions for taxpayers on a scale and flat tax basis is unlimited and increases with their income – he added.

Promises that have not yet been fulfilled

Before the parliamentary elections, the current government presented a number of promises aimed at reducing the costs of doing business in Poland. Among the proposals were a monthly holiday from contributions for every small entrepreneur and self-employed person, as well as sick leave for employees paid by ZUS from the first day. The Third Way proposed a voluntary Social Insurance Institution. For now – two weeks after the formation of the new government and a month and a half after the first session of the new Sejm – these promises have not yet been fulfilled.

The portal is already after the elections Money.pl he wrote that after the coalition agreements, it was decided that an entrepreneur who could prove that he had no income or was reporting a loss would be able to apply for a holiday from ZUS. The length of the holidays may range from three months to even half a year – but decisions on this matter will be made only after the new government becomes acquainted with the actual state of the state’s finances. There are also announcements that an entrepreneur who will not be able to pay contributions for a month will receive a benefit from the state. It is to be half of the minimum wage. State aid is not to cover all entrepreneurs, but only the smallest and self-employed ones.

Main photo source: Grand Warszawski/Shutterstock/x.com





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