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Published on April 26, 2012 by: in: Politics

What kind of social policy Donald Tusk is going to pursue?

The social politicy in exposé was presented mainly in the context of budget cuts, but not only. Its evident idea was based on saving up at the cost of the poorest people, according to one of the leaders belonging to the opposition party called “fat cats”. From this it follows that, despite prognosis of some difficult changes (for example extending the retirement age), Tusk was more than cautious in making his proposals, which could have been received as a sign of the lack of socially sensitive conscience.

photo: Tomasz Przechlewski

For instance, Tusk decided to leave the irrational maternity benefit, surely afraid of being called “a baby-enemy”. Limitation on awarding it only to people who earn less than 85 thousands zloty per year is only a symbolic act. What is more, “wealthy parents” will get that benefit only on condition that they decide to raise the second and next children.

Extending the retirement age while the average lifespan is increasing, is too short, also in the context of the level of pensions. Particularly many women will experience painful shock when they realize how paltry amount of money they can get if they decide to retire earlier – the other benefits (e.g. widow’s pension) may be limited in the future by the demanding market. It would be sensible to set up a quantitative valorization, not a proportional one as the proportional one leads to deepening the gap between poor and wealthy pensioners and bring to the latter ones the biggest benefits while the poor ones get amounts of money which are mocked by tabloids, not without reason.

Increasing reductions for the 3rd and the next children, and at the same moment their limitation to people earning more than 85 thousands zloty every year is neutral for the national budget and, unfortunately, neutral for population growth in Poland – there is no possibility to increase it to the level of 2,1 enabling generation replacement. It is necessary to think over the sense of spending a huge amount of money for endeavors, which may bring no visible positive effect.

The strategic decision is to start  including the farmers in the system in which other Poles live.. Only when we get to know the true incomes of the village dwellers, there will be possibility to help them, to stimulate them and to add them to the general system of insurance.

The last forecast is limitation of the privileges, which are granted to the inappropriate groups – in fact, the crisis is a good time to make such changes. The most important thing is not to  ones against the others. According to Scriptures saying: “ones should carry the loads of others”, Tusk announced that he is going to take away the police and priests’ privileges.

All of those changes will be possible only if, according to Tusk, we base them on tradition, not letting any divisions or civilization wars happen. In short, more traditional unity, more social solidarity, a bit more rational spending money and quite limited (in reference to the family politics and demography) predictions are needed.

Unfortunately, it is unemployment that may become the main theme during the upcoming cadence, and it is difficult to imagine the discussion about it without mentioning a value of education and shaping the market in Poland. Exactly those two aspects were absent from the Prime Minister’s exposé. Nevertheless, it does not let anyone who cares about our country  forget about it, regardless of the views we represent. First of all, we, liberals, should remember about it.

Translation: Milena Dawidzionek

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About Leszek Jażdżewski

Politologist, publicist, regular political commentator in Polish media. Editor in chief of “Liberté!”, Polish liberal socio-political journal. Studied international relations in University of Lodz, Institute of Political Studies on Polish Academy of Sciences, Glamorgan University in UK and Tbilisi University in Georgia. Vice-president of Liberal Forum, member of the council of Projekt: Polska Foundation, secretary of the board of Transport Integration Society, vice-president of Industrial Foundation. Coauthor of books: “Liberal reflections on life chances and social mobility in Europe” and “Democracy in Europe. Of the People, by the People, for the People?”

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