Poland's lower house passes 2014 budget bill
December 16, 2013
PM Donald Tusk, Deputy PM Janusz Piechocinski and Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek
Poland's lower house of parliament Sejm on Friday adopted the 2014 budget bill allowing a deficit of no more than PLN 47.6 billion and predicting a 2.5% GDP growth and 2.4% average annual inflation.
Of the 448 MPs present, 235 voted for and 213 voted against. No one abstained.
Poland has a "stable coalition which does not fall apart during the vote on the budget," which is a good thing for Poland, PM Donald Tusk told journalists commenting the budget vote.
The Polish PM also said that Poland's GDP growth in 2014 will likely exceed 2.5% envisaged in 2014 budget.
"As for the growth rate next year, I have my own forecast, it should be slightly higher than envisaged [in the budget bill]," Tusk said.
On the revenue side the government plans to raise PLN 276.98 billion, while budget spending is planned at PLN 324.63 billion maximum.
VAT rates will remain unchanged from 2013, excise on tobacco and alcoholic drinks will go up 5 and 15% respectively.
PM Tusk said that Poland is still a country that must save on expenses and the 2014 budget is fairly conservative. At the same time the budget offers room for economic development, he added.
"It is a difficult budget, Poland is still a country that must save (on expenditure), and the EU also insists on" lower budget deficits. "On the other hand, we want to promote development and we have successfully done it so far," he said.
Meanwhile, Polish Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek said that
The government faces a lower risk of a budget amendment in 2014 than in 2013.
"Future is always uncertain, but the risk of a need to amend [the budget] is much lower than in 2013," Szczurek said.
The Polish economy still faces the risk of deterioration of the economic situation in the EU in 2014 and 2015, but the risk "is not significant enough" to fear a need to amend the budget, the minister added.
Poland needed to amend its 2013 budget, hiking the initial maximum deficit of PLN 35.6 billion by PLN 16 billion.