As far as the entrepreneurs are concerned, the exposé presented by Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz can be assessed as moderately positive.
Ms Prime Minister underlined that a strong economy is an important element of state security. The presented plans, a.o. creating a new Tax ordinance, new regulations on economic activity and the building code, a reconstruction of vocational education, further investment in transport infrastructure and – last but not least – opposition to the harmful EU climate policy, deserve support. The Prime Minister’s plans are ambitious and in many cases long-term, extending beyond the end of this governments term.
The declaration of a though stance with regards to the EU climate policy which will be decided in the coming weeks is satisfying. We – neither entrepreneurs, nor citizens – can afford to realize arbitrarily imposed climate goals. We have to remember the refusal without an attempt to form a coalition may result in serious problems for Poland, eg. with regards to receiving funds from the 2014-2020 financial perspective. The green lobby in Brussels is very influential. Although we strongly demand tractate regulations on the freedom of shaping the energy mix to be respected, a mix of which coal is – and will continue to be – a key element, we have to everything in our powers not to be left alone on this issue. The announced restructuring of the sector and re-establishing of competitive price of Polish coal necessitates decisive actions – we hope that Ms Prime Minister does not withdraw from these declarations under pressure from miners’ trade unions and will not buy social peace for taxpayers’ money in an election year.
In the coming months entrepreneurs can expect projects of a new Tax Ordinance and the Economic Activity Act. We have that changes will be deep and informed by the general objective mentioned by MS Prime Minister – all legislations pertaining to economic freedoms should be shaped with the 99 percent of law-abiding entrepreneurs and not the 1 percent dishonest ones. We demand that state agencies – particularly tax authorities – abandon the “guilty until proven innocent” principle with regards to entrepreneurs. Today, they bear the burden of evidence and have to prove their innocence.
I see the declarations on demographic policy as positive. They exhibit a holistic approach, which answers many of the challenges we are currently facing. Dramatically low fertility rate and a rapidly going society are a very dangerous mix for the development of our country. We will support government activities in this regard.
Ms Prime Minister stressed the importance of social dialog and reestablishing trust for public institutions. These words have to be followed by actions, as without social dialog and trust the well-being of Polish economy is in danger. Tripartite social dialogue, which has now been defunct for 15 months, should be reinstated as soon as possible. Propositions on how to go about that are on the table, they only need to finalized and accepted. It is particularly important that the new government – and in turn its officers – is more open to entrepreneurs. It is time to put an end to a policy of building a wall between decision makers and business.
To sum up: we will hold MS Prime Minister to her Promise that she will take full responsibility for the new government and will not let her ministers avoid debate. We will remember her declarations that she and her ministers are ready for discussion and open to criticism. For this reason, we accept the offer of 100 days of friendly cooperation and promise to be a harsh but fair reviewer of the government until the end of its term. I hope that PO will use the year left until the election to regain the trust of entrepreneurs. Words have to turn into action.
Andrzej Malinowski, President of Employers of Poland