Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) has unveiled a range of new social policies in the lead-up to this year’s national election, including a 60 percent increase in the child benefit, free prescription drugs for seniors, and an end to highway tolls.
The new program initiatives were unveiled this weekend at the ruling conservative’s convention in Warsaw, entitled “The program hive” — a reference to the ruling party’s image of being hardworking.
Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the ruling conservative PiS, announced on Sunday that if his party stays in power after the election, then the child benefit will be increased from 500 to 800 zlotys (€177) per month at the start of the new year. He argued that inflation was coming down and expected to be in the single digits by the end of this year, which would mean that the increased child benefit would not prove inflationary.
The PiS leader announced two other measures that should prove popular with voters. The first was free prescription drugs for people over 65 years of age and for minors under 18.
The other was committing the ruling party to scrap highway tolls that still have to be paid on some express highways in the country. He argued that his party was committed to approximating Polish living standards to those of Western Europe.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau also spoke at the convention. He said that the party and the government’s key priority was to ensure peace and security, but he added that it was also vital that Poles keep control of their own affairs and resist the imperial appetites of others. He said that international law must be the basis of international relations, rather than policies imposed from the outside.
Rau underlined that Poland’s security depended on the whole region of Central and Eastern Europe being secure.
Finally, he said that it was not enough to support Ukraine in military, humanitarian and financial terms; they must also ensure that Poland’s neighbors understood that Polish security was also their security.
“Poland does not want to just go along with the mainstream, it wants to be a partner in that mainstream,” concluded Rau.