Government vows to help poor, opposition skeptical
August 28, 2014
Prime Minister Donald Tusk Wednesday vowed to help low-income pensioners and poorer families as his government unveiled a slew of new initiatives in the run-up to Poland's local elections in November and a parliamentary ballot next year.
Tusk's ruling Civic Platform (PO) has been faring badly in the polls and is trailing behind the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has more support among poorer Poles and pensioners.
In a major policy speech to the lower house of parliament in its first sitting after the summer recess, Tusk referred to plans to tweak pension rules to help the poorest pensioners and to rejig the income tax system to help low-income families. "These are expenses we can afford," Tusk told deputies.
The government also unveiled plans to build new roads, improve medical care for the elderly and to provide new tax advisers to make life easier for companies.
Opposition deputies slammed the government promises as an attempt to buy votes.
They also criticized the fact that opposition parties were given only 10 minutes each to respond to speeches by Tusk and his ministers. "This is a caricature of a parliamentary democracy," complained Tadeusz Iwinski of the opposition Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) party.