The preferential system of social insurance for farmers is a deviation from the rule of uniform treatment of all citizens and a thorn in the flesh of reformers of public economy and finance. At the same time, it is a bastion of defence of rural politicians. The status quo in this area results in the persistently low efficiency of agriculture and discourages farmers from legal search for other sources of income.
LOT, the Polish national air carrier, wishes to apply for a considerable public aid amounting to PLN 400 million (about EUR 98 million), but needs as much as PLN 1 billion. Meanwhile, the prospect of the company's bankruptcy continues to loom large. What would its consequences be? Probably similar to those triggered by the collapse of the Belgian Sabena and the Hungarian Malev: loss of several thousand jobs, a poorer network of air connections, a drop in airports' revenues, serious problems of companies linked to LOT and possibly even more expensive airline tickets. But this is not the end of the world.
On the one hand, State Treasury property slowly gains in value, on the other, public debt is mounting rapidly. As it seems, before long, public debt might exceed the value of State Treasury property. Debt increase is common knowledge, while the value of the said property and its structure is not. Let us check whether those assets are put to effective use.
Not only the state and extraction companies count on shale gas. Also gminas where drilling started count on higher revenues of local budgets. At the current level of extraction of 4.4 billion cubic metres of gas, gminas gain PLN 16 million. Following the changes proposed by the Ministry of the Environment, their revenues may increase to over PLN 60 million.
Five steps – and not one more – is supposedly all the Minister of Health needs to reform the health care system. The problem is he presented no details, only catchy slogans. No costs of the reform were mentioned. The one thing we know for sure is that the government plans to spend PLN 100 million a year for subsidising in vitro procedures.
Local governments have abandoned their dreams of the cadastral tax for now, but they are still after higher revenues from land and buildings.They came up with geographical tax progression in order to save the budgets of communes [gmina]. Respectively, the real estate tax rates would be higher in sub-regions where GDP per capita stands above the national average.
When Prime Minister Donald Tusk addressed parliament last week he was speaking to a much wider audience than just the deputies sitting in front of him and the national public – key recipients of his message were the analysts whose recommendations guide the decisions of both equity and fixed income foreign investors.
When adopting last year the act reducing the level of the contribution transferred to Open Pension Funds (OFEs), the government promised another amendment. It was designed to force an increase in competition between the funds, improve their efficiency and reduce management costs. The government failed to keep its promise. This may prove that OFEs are already treated as a temporary solution.
The Government has submitted a draft 2013 budget to the Sejm. With the economic growth planned for 2.2%, revenue is to increase by 2.4% in nominal terms and expenditure by 1.9%, excluding the European funds. Analysis of the figures shows that the Government counts more on the increase in tax revenue rather than on expenditure savings.
At the end of September at the latest, a draft budget for 2013 will be submitted to the Sejm. Due to the economic slowdown, it may be difficult to implement it, but this does not have to be so. The budget has many safes with funds. We have asked Elżbieta Suchocka-Roguska and Halina Wasilewska–Trenkner, authors of many budget drafts, whether it is possible to reach for such funds.