The mythological rogue Procrustes would place his victims on his bed and stretch them if they were too short or cut their limbs if they were too long to fit it. The results were twofold: Procrustes always achieved equality, but the people subjected to his procedures always ended up dead. This is how attempts to impose ideal equality where there is no place for it always end. Such a villainous idea was put forward this week by Viceminister of Family, Labour and Social Policy Marcin Zieleniecki, who announced the unification of ZUS contributions. Let me remind you: we are talking of Mr Zieleniecki – trade union adviser, temporarily delegated to work with the government – President of Employers of Poland Andrzej Malinowski writes in “Rzeczpospolita”.
„The point is not to make anyone pay additional contributions, but only to make it impossible to function outside of the current system” – explained prof. Zieleniecki. In the new system, the self-employed would pay contributions based on the entirety of their income (rather than the flat rated ZUS, as is the case now). Those who run companies and using contracts of order or contracts for specific work would pay contributions two or even more times higher.
– Those who work on contracts for specific work would also pay contributions – if only officials (controllers?) would judge these contracts to be permanent. It looks like a large-scale project facilitating the growth of the grey market – a phenomenon we are apparently supposed to combat. Formally, we all share this sentiment, with the possible exception of smugglers and producers of illegal cigarettes – assesses the President of Employers of Poland.
– One area were minister Zieleniecki would surely prove to be exceptionally gifted is creating riddles, complicated logical game and paradoxes. I really cannot conceive how a person capable of organizing facts in accordance with ordinary causal relationships and exhibiting a minimum of understanding of Polish tax and labour law could possibly be convinced that the changes in question will introduce order or even be favourable for taxpayers – he adds.
According to Malinowski, this project will be most harmful for small and medium entrepreneurs – despite the Polish politicians’ continued declarations of good will towards SMEs.
This could be a cause for concern, were it not funny as well – given that soon after the interview for “Rzeczpospolita” quoted above minister Zieleniecki backtracked on his declarations claiming that they were his private views.
– I think that these vies were not quite so private. Using a tactic well-known in the Ministry of Defence, Minister Zieleniecki is simply conducting a reconnaissance. Such attempts and battle tests have been going on for a year now – we have seen them in the case of miners, doctors and small business. Therefore, I would like to remind that however easy it is to step in the same river twice, it rarely ends well – concludes the President of Employers of Poland.