At least 70 cities and municipalities have already launched their participatory budgets. Their number will grow since they are drivers of popularity and the local elections are scheduled as early as this autumn. Therefore, once again - after a year - we are watching the implementation of the idea of the participatory budget. A review of Internet reports shows that the process of creating participatory budgets has been professionalised by city authorities.
The number of children and youth is for the first time the same as the number of pensioners in Poland. Both groups were 7 million strong in December 2013, according the preliminary reports of Poland’s Central Statistics Agency. This was also the first year in which the Polish government withdrew more from the its Demographic Reserve Fund (FRD), created as a reserve in case of problems with future pension payments, than it paid into the fund from gains from privatization. The fund is dwindling.
Roads, railways and drilling for shale gas are almost certain infrastructure investments for the coming years. Although yesterday the government adopted a nuclear power program, large investments in the power industry, in particular in a nuclear power plant, are uncertain.
Four new countries, among them Poland, will be audited as part of the IMF’s Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). The program assesses financial systems in countries where a crisis would have a significant impact on the global economy, either due to the size of that country’s economy or its interconnectedness with others. We’ll be more important, but also subject to more frequent assessment.
Public-private partnership investment projects are still few and far between in Poland, and most tenders called for projects to be launched under this formula end up in a fiasco. Without incentive from the government and without some fairly uncomplicated changes to legislation, things are going to stay this way.
The reform of the pension system will only decrease the cost of debt servicing and the cost of refunding contributions – a total of PLN 9 billion. The government will not spend any more, as it pursues fiscal consolidation within the excessive deficit procedure - says Dariusz Rosati, Chairman of the Public Finance Committee of the Sejm.
The economic slowdown has inflamed the dispute between the Ministry of Finance (MF), which is responsible for the state budget, and local governments. Mutual accusations are the same: handing out deductions lavishly and in a discretionary way and looking for savings everywhere but in their own pockets. Local governments warn that if this continues, hundreds of communities will have a problem with passing their budgets and financing a down payment for EU projects.