Main opposition PiS proposes radical reforms in its new platform
February 17, 2014
PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski
Poland's chief opposition party, the conservative Law & Justice (PiS).
would focus on "pro-social" policies in its new 160-page platform approved by a Saturday party congress in Warsaw.
PiS would cut the retirement age, create jobs for young workers, radically reorganize government ministries and institutions and eliminate the National Health Fund, according to the new program.
The party plans to concentrate on most important social aspects and thus focus public debate on the subject of employment. The issues the party has so far paid greatest attention to, such as corruption, will be slightly put aside, the daily Rzeczpospolita writes.
In the new platform PiS envisages some 1.2 million new jobs created for the young in a National Employment Program. Social Security premiums would be cut in regions of high unemployment.
As for economic policy the highlights of the new platform include calls to retain the zloty as currency, clean public finances, rebuild the tax system, ease regulations for small business, tie the minimum wage to average wages and spend up to 4% of GDP on pro-family policies, including direct payments to families.
According to PiS VAT rates must be put down to prior levels and a new Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate at 39% must be introduced for earners above PLN 300,000 annually. New taxes on financial institutions and supermarkets could bring about PLN 7 billion annually, PiS said.
Among administrative reforms postulated by PiS the Prime Minister would be entitled to issue binding orders to ministers and veto actions taken by ministers. A new super-ministry for Economy and Economic Development would be created to be led by a deputy PM.
The Finance Ministry would be restricted to financial planning and bookkeeping.
The Treasury Ministry would be abolished and corporate governance of state firms would be handed over to the ministries closest tied to the respective industries. New ministries for: European Integration, Maritime Economy, Family Policy should be created according to PiS.
Along with the Saturday congress, the party launched a TV ad campaign, related to the European Parliament elections, which will last until February 23.
PiS counts on expanding its voter base, which currently stems mainly from rural regions and small towns.