Prime Minister Beata Szydło: the support for families will be continued, in 2017 development will be the priority

The Law and Justice (PiS) government has taken care of the Poles and their problems – we have kept our promise. It has been a year that will have a significant impact on many families in Poland, said Prime Minister Beata Szydło at a press conference on Thursday in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. She assured that in the 2016 budget there were sufficient funds for the planned investments and social projects. In 2017, the situation will be the same.

Photo: M. Rzewuski / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Year 2016: family as the government’s priority

Subsequent laws and acts have been adopted aimed at supporting families and enhance economic growth in Poland – the Council of Ministers and PiS have worked on this for the entire year, Prime Minister Beata Szydło has summed up the key priorities of her government in 2016. She added that the government for the past 12 months has been taking care of the problems of ordinary citizens, just as it promised.    

Among the projects targeted at restoring dignified life to Polish families and to stabilise their functioning, the Prime Minister mentioned, i.a.: Rodzina 500+ (Family 500+) and Mieszkanie+ (Own Apartment+). She also reminded about the introduction of the minimum wage of PLN two thousand, the minimum pension of PLN, the minimum hourly rate of PLN 12, and the free medications for seniors under the 75+ programme. The government’s attainments in the past year include also the ban on taking children from their families due to poverty, the register of paedophiles, restoring the former retirement age, and last but not least the law facilitating the collection of child support, the amended draft of which was discussed at the government meeting on Thursday.

The Prime Minister reminded moreover that the level of unemployment in Poland is the lowest in the last 25 years.

Year 2017: the economy as the government’s priority

Year 2016 was dedicated to the family. The support for Polish families will be continued, but in 2017 our priority will be development and the economy, the Prime Minister said.

The head of Polish government pointed out that in 2016 several development programmes have been launched – by government’s decision the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers has been established to ensure that, as she put it, the development projects can be implemented faster, better and more effectively.

The Prime Minister added that within the framework of pro-development component, some actions have been taken for the benefit of the farmers. She mentioned, i.a.: the regulation protecting land ownership, earlier disbursement of direct payments, protection of the Polish brand, and social insurance for farmers. All this is a real support for Polish rural areas, the Prime Minister said.  

She pointed out, moreover, that the majority of funds under the Rodzina 500+ (Family 500+) programme were disbursed in rural areas. This, she added, shows the scale of assistance and support for Polish countryside in 2016.

The Prime Minister also talked about the process of “re-polonisation” of banks that has already started, and stated that it will be continued. She also talked about restoring Polish industry, about the decision that the equipment for the Polish army will be produced and purchased in Polish armaments companies, about the reduction of CIT for micro-enterprises, and about measures aimed at restoring the Polish mining sector to make it modern and competitive, so it could be a guarantee of Polish energy security.

Security and foreign policy of the government of Beata Szydło in 2016

Premier Beata Szydło pointed out that 2016 was a year dedicated not only to family but also to security. She meant both the success of the NATO summit and of the World Youth Days (WYD). WYD was a great feast of youth and of values; they were organised perfectly and became an ambassador of Poland. They demonstrated that Poland is a safe place, worthy of visiting, and inhabited by wonderful people, the Prime Minister concluded. On the other hand, the decisions taken at the NATO summit held in Warsaw have genuinely increased the security of Poland and of the entire Europe. Among other such initiatives the chief of the government mentioned, i.a., the creation of Territorial Defence Units, the restoration of defence industry, modernisation of uniformed services and restoration of police stations in small villages and towns.  

The uncompromising attitude of Poland on the migrant crisis has brought results, Prime Minister Beata Szydło underlined, adding that other EU states have adopted our point of view on this issue and that the voice from Warsaw at last counts in the world. For the past eight years, under the PO-PSL government, Poland was a consumer of foreign policy developed in other capitals. Nowadays, the opinions from Warsaw are taken into account – we are the ones who serve this foreign policy, the Prime Minister stated.

In the past year, the cooperation within the Visegrad Group (V4) has been a significant element of foreign policy pursued by Beata’s Szydło government. V4 is an important player on the international arena and it is worth it to call for development of Central-Eastern Europe. The role of Poland in promoting climate favourable for development of this part of Europe cannot be overestimated, the Prime Minister pointed out.

The budget for 2016 implemented in a hundred per cent

There was enough money in the budget for the implementation of investments and social projects. The same can be said about 2017, assured Prime Minister Beata Szydło. She reminded that when at the end of 2016, the state budget approved, MPs representing the opposition claimed that the budget was prepared badly and that there would be no funds for the 500+, or the lowering of the retirement age, or for investments.   

She mentioned in this context the planned deficit below 50%, as well as the huge amounts spent on supporting families, building their dignity and fostering stabilisation, and allocated for pro-social and pro-family projects and investments. Moreover, the result of State budget was PLN 11 billion higher than planned.

Those who today criticise, and who criticised in 2015 the budget prepared by PiS, as well as the Rodzina 500+ and Mieszkanie+ programmes, the lowering of the retirement age and the free medications for seniors, those who criticise everything that we have accomplished so far, should answer the question what they did with the public money during 8 years, and why did this money was not given to the Poles earlier, the Prime stated.   

She added that there is one simple question to be asked: what happened with this money and how was it spent when PO and PSL governed the country?

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