Polish Senate committee recommends budget act for 2021 with amendments
The Senate Committee on Budget and Public Finance recommends amendments to the budget act for 2021. The proposed amendments include, transfer of PLN 4 billion for additional remuneration in the amount of 100% for medical workers caring for COVID-19 patients and increasing funds for pay raises for teachers by PLN 2.5 billion.
Committee senators also want to delete the provision enabling the National Broadcasting Council to obtain compensation in the amount of PLN 1 950 million for the lost revenues from subscription fees in 2021. These funds would - as they propose - be allocated to co-finance the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Prior to the adoption of the report, the senators rejected the motion to adopt the law without amendments.
The budget act for 2021 adopted in December 2020 provides for, inter alia, budget deficit at PLN 82.3 billion, GDP growth of 4% and average annual inflation at 1.8%. The increase in investments is to amount to 4%. Revenues are planned at PLN 404.4 billion, expenses - at PLN 486.7 billion.
The act assumes a deficit of the public finance sector (according to the EU methodology) at the level of approx. 6% of GDP, and the debt of the general government sector at the level of 64.7% of GDP. The basic macroeconomic conditions of the budget also include: an increase in the average annual wage bill by 2.8% and an increase in private consumption, in nominal terms, by 6.3%.
The commission approved amendments regarding PLN 1.95 billion in compensation for the National Broadcasting Council for lost subscription fees in 2021, as well as the transfer of PLN 4 billion for additional remuneration for medical workers with whom contracts for the provision of health services to sick persons were concluded on COVID-19 or suspected of being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and were not sent to work under the 2008 Act on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans.
Subsequent amendments provide for the transfer of PLN 1.95 billion for co-financing the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, PLN 120 million for treatment related to complications after COVID-19 and PLN 80 million for child psychiatry.
Senators also proposed to increase by PLN 2.5 billion funds for pay raises for teachers, by PLN 300 million for the purchase of teaching aids and distance learning equipment for students. The committee's support was also given to amendments providing for subsidies with the amount of PLN 80 million for tasks in the field of epidemiology and combating infectious diseases; allocating PLN 100 million for the purchase of equipment and equipment for the State Medical Rescue to combat COVID-19, as well as PLN 100 million for the State Sanitary Inspection for the fight against COVID-19 (proposals of the Health Committee).
Senators also want to increase the budget of the Senate Chancellery by PLN 10 million for the implementation of tasks in the field of care for the Polish Diaspora and Poles abroad (proposal of the Committee on Regulations, Ethics and Senatorial Affairs as well as Emigration and Liaison with Poles Abroad), granting a subsidy of 3 million PLN for the European Solidarity Center (proposal of the Regulations, Ethics and Senatorial Affairs Committee); creating a specific reserve of PLN 10 million to help civil society organizations in Belarus and to help people repressed by the Belarusian government (proposal of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the European Union).
The committee also approved the amendments tabled by senators Beata Libera-Małecka and Paweł Arndt. The first is to delete the provision enabling the National Broadcasting Council to obtain compensation in the amount of PLN 1 950 million for the lost revenues from subscription fees in 2021. The second assumes the allocation of PLN 4 billion to additional remuneration in the amount of 100% for medical employees with whom contracts for the provision of health services to people suffering from COVID-19 or suspected of being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and not assigned to work under the Act of 2008 on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans. The next ones envisage allocating PLN 1 950 million for co-financing the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, PLN 120 million for treatment related to complications after COVID-19 and PLN 80 million for child psychiatry.
It was also recommended to adopt amendments, increasing by 3 million 300 thousand. PLN from the budget of the Human Rights Defender, assuming the transfer of PLN 95 million for pension benefits for members of the Volunteer Fire Brigades after 10 years of social service, and PLN 30 million for counteracting discrimination and violence, including domestic violence. Support was also gained for the amendment assuming the allocation of PLN 100 million for the IVF program, as well as the amendment providing for the creation of a multi-annual program "The functioning of rural housewives clubs" with the amount of PLN 22 million