Family Protection Action Plan, which bears all the hallmarks of an authoritarian staple, is dehumanizing, pits demographic groups against each other and distorts the markets. It also creates a distraction for the citizens and puts the opposition in a corner where their only option is a bidding war.
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.
Ageing of the Polish society means that every year more and more people will reach the retirement age. At the same time, the number of people of working age will be decreasing. In this context, it appears that the pension system reform implemented in 1999 introduced a not very fortunate principle to the Polish pension system.
Demographic change is not a tsunami. It proceeds gradually but steadily, just as the ocean’s tide. It can be foreseen if we simply choose to open our eyes and look at facts.