Polish politicians are going nuts. An election is just around the corner and politicians are throwing money at the electorate in the hope of buying a few votes.
There is an expression in Poland – the election sausage. Political parties organize little fetes and political meetings, and in amongst the rhetoric there would be a few sausages, a beer and other ‘gadgets’ thrown in for free.
Well, politicians are not dishing out sausages anymore in Poland, they are dishing out child benefits, tax breaks on having kids, longer maternity leave and much more besides.
Take yesterday in the Polish Parliament. The government was determined to get through tax breaks for Poles who have kids. It had promised an extra 3 billion in a tax give away. So what did the parliament – all sides of the parliament – do? They voted to increase the give away to...6.5 billion!
Ooo, look at the size of that sausage!
The finance minister, Zyta Gilowska, was a little surprised and described the vote as ‘madness’ and the Polish equivalent of a parliamentary ‘cock up’.
The opposition - all types of it - had the gaul to criticize the government last week for coming to an agreement with the Solidarity trade union to increase the minimum wage. The largest opposition party, Civic Platform, claimed that such a move, just before an election this autumn, was a blatant election sausage if ever they saw one.
The government replied that they were just keeping to promises they had made earlier.
On Monday the government forced through parliament an increase in the length of maternity leave and an extra few zloty payment for each child born.
These 'pro-family' policies are in keeping with the government’s belief that if you pay Poles a few extra zloty for having children then everyone will go home and have an ‘early night’.
It’s the equivalent of a ‘child friendly sausage’ - or maybe even 'child abuse'.
But all this is going to leave the government’s budget plans in a bit of a mess. The next government – who ever that may be – is going to have to pick up the tab for a pre-election spending spree.
The Parliament will probably dissolve itself tomorrow which makes an election in late October a certainty.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Posted by beatroot at 9/06/2007