Prime Minister Beata Szydło in the Sejm: Polish families can live in dignity

Our goal is to support all families. We want to help every child, every mother, every family in Poland, said Prime Minister Beata Szydło in the Sejm during the vote over amendments to the Act concerning i.a. the Family 500+ programme.

Photo: Krzysztof Białoskórski

Significant drop in poverty among children

We are here to hold substantive debates and talk about problems which are important to the Poles, underlined the government leader while addressing the MPs. Prime Minister Beata Szydło informed that her government’s policy led to a decrease in poverty among children by 94%. This is a proof that the Family 500+ programme was necessary, that it is being implemented effectively and that it is bringing spectacular effects, continued the Prime Minister. She also added that the previous government was unable to deliver that.

According to Prime Minister Szydło, the Family 500+ programme aims to achieve two goals. The first one is to provide financial aid to families. The second one is pro-demographic. In her opinion, the effects of the programme are already visible in Poland.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that the support of families in Poland is provided not only in the form of the Family 500+ programme, but also by improving the situation on the job market. The increase in minimum hourly rate has contributed significantly to Polish families’ living in dignity. The Prime Minister reminded that the Strategy for Responsible Development has been one of the drivers of the gradual development of the Polish economy.

The leader of the Polish government said to the MPs: You will see that thanks to the Law and Justice rule, not a single child or not a single family will be left to suffer from poverty.

It is easier to apply for the 500+ benefit

Today the Sejm passed a governmental package of amendments concerning family support. Their goal is to encourage the Poles to have more children, to eliminate constraints concerning having children and to facilitate raising children.

The Family 500+ programme has proved to be a success and its chief assumptions are not going to change. It will still involve a benefit of PLN 500.00 to be paid until a child is 18. The income criterion which applies with respect to the first child is not going to change, either (PLN 800.00 or PLN 1,200.00).

Getting the 500+ benefit is going to be easier. Application deadlines for child-raising benefits, family benefits and child-maintenance benefits are going to be standardized. This year all those applications are going to be accepted as of 1 August. Moreover, changes in Family 500+ will also involve elimination of some scarce but undesirable phenomena.

New nursery schools to be open

The government will allocate PLN 500 million a year for nursery schools. It is by PLN 350 million more than to-date. The funds will be intended for establishing new nursery schools and enlargement of the existing ones. Moreover, the scheme is going to facilitate return to work for parents. Apart from establishing new nursery schools, the funds will also enable to lower the charges paid by parents for the facility, as a result of which there will be more money left in parents’ pockets.

It will be easier to establish and run a nursery school, while maintaining high standards of care for children. The safety of children in nursery facilities will also increase, as one of the requirements introduced by the amended legislation is that each teacher has to undergo a first-aid training every two years. In addition, candidates for teachers at nursery schools, for nursery school managers and nurses will be verified to check whether they are not listed in the database of sexual offenders.

Parents will obtain the right to participate in decision-making at nursery schools and kids’ clubs, as well as to monitor their children’s stay at the facility.

Broader access to the Large Family Card

The Large Family Card will become more attractive – it will be available in the form of a smartphone app. The special application will make it possible to use the Card immediately following its being granted by a village or municipality head or a mayor, without the need to wait for a piece of plastic to be printed out. However, a plastic card will remain in circulation. Card holders will be able to use both formats alternatively. Importantly, the Large Family Card will also be granted to those parents who have ever raised at least three children.

After today’s green light given by the Sejm, the bill will be forwarded to the Senat of the Republic of Poland.

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