- It is good that lessons have been learned from painful experiences related to the budget for 2013, when an amendment was inevitable due to unrealistic assumptions that had been criticized by economists. Next year’s budget act does not have these defects. On the other hand, I have my doubts as to whether the mere reliance on realistic macroeconomic assumptions is sufficient to evaluate it positively - said Andrzej Malinowski.
In general one can say that the budget for 2015 – unless the Act amending certain acts related to the implementation of the Budget Act surprise us - does not bring much harm, but also does not make any significant, positive changes. Poland needs a budgetary policy, which - beyond survival to the next year - ensures certain elements of a broader long-term strategic vision are implemented. Unfortunately I do not see it in this draft budget.
What I assess positively is the revision of GDP growth forecast for next year. It is possible that in 2015 Polish gross domestic product will grow at a faster rate than 3.4 percent. However, given the risks associated with the implementation of this scenario, it is better to plan the budget based on very conservative forecasts, than to risk the need to re-amendment. The most significant threat to the state revenue projections may be low inflation. It is good that is has been taken into account and an appropriate adjustment has been made in the draft budget.
It is an important information that no increases in excise duty are planned for next year. The rates of this tax have already reached such a high level that their further increase would be detrimental not only for businesses and consumers but also for the state budget.
The direction of changes to the family tax relief seems rational. If - in public interest - we want to introduce tax preferences for people with children, this support should be directed where it is needed.
It should also be perceived as positive that the budget for 2015 foresees the application of a binding stabilizing expenditure rule for the first time. Hopefully, thanks to its application fiscal policy will finally be countercyclical and excessive growth of the budget deficit will become impossible. Whether the rule is effective, we will be able to see only when its application begins to make itself felt. Unfortunately, the past practice shows that when fiscal rules are to be implemented the government tries to elude or abolish them. We need not only good law but also the will to use it. It is worth noting that - as is clear from the draft budget - in 2015 the nominal increase in expenditure is to be the highest in six years.
From 2012 onwards there were efforts to keep spending in check but it has apparently been decided that in an important election year we can afford a bit of indulgence in this regard. I hope that the Ministry of Finance calculated additional cost of such actions as changing the indexation of pensions and there will be no threat to the objective of reducing the public sector deficit to below 3 percent GDP.
The draft budget for 2015 and draft amendments to the rules pension indexation were presented during the plenary meeting of the Tripartite Committee for Socio-Economic Affairs. Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Władysław Kosiniak- Kamysz and the Minister of Finance, Mateusz Szczurek were present at the meeting.
According to the draft budget for next year revenues are to amount to 297.2 billion zlotys and expenditures to 343.3 billion zlotys. This means that the deficit should be at the level of less than 46.1 billion zlotys. Public finance deficit is projected at 2.7 percent in 2015, which should allow for the abrogation of the excessive deficit procedure imposed on Poland in 2009.
Andrzej Malinowski, President of Employers of Poland