In 2015, the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party won the elections, promising a significant new social support program. In March 2016, with a majority in the parliament, PiS introduced the “Family 500+” program, which provided an additional payment of PLN 500 per child per month. Initially, the program was for a second and subsequent child in a family, but later it was extended to include the first child as well.
On May 14, during the Law and Justice (PiS) convention the election promises were made. Will these promises lead to prolongation of the PiS rule in Poland? There are the specific program announcements presented by Jarosław Kaczyński, and the most important is: 800+ in place of 500+ from 2024.
Amid the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland shows no intention of postponing the presidential elections scheduled for May 10. The outcome is likely to be deemed illegitimate. Will this be the last straw for Polish democracy?
The introduction of the controversial 500+ program in Poland has so far resulted in no increase in fertility rate. Noteworthy, 12% of the program budget would be sufficient to eliminate extreme child poverty. Meanwhile, 100,000 women were pushed out of the labor market.
Analysts investigating the roots of the PiS’s dominance agree that one of the strongest pillars of its success is a massive universal child benefit scheme called “Family 500+”, providing each and every Polish family with a monthly payment of PLN 500 (ca. EUR 115) for their second and every next underage child.
In some countries (including Poland) parental leave can be fully flexibly divided between both parents. This sounds great, but in reality reinforces gender inequality. Therefore, the Commission has recently proposed the parental leave to become an individual right for mothers and fathers without a transfer of the four months to the other parent.