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Minister: 500+ programme not causing women to leave jobs

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The government’s 500+ social-aid programme is not causing Polish women to abandon the job market, according to the country’s Labour and Social Policy Minister. Minister Elżbieta Rafalska told Polish Radio on Friday that the decline in unemployment in 2017 will not be as dynamic as in 2016.

She added that media allegations saying that the main reason for economic inactivity of 140,000 women was the 500+ programme, was “unreliable, negligent analysis of the data”.

“I think that making judgments that this programme causes women [to stop working], and on the scale that media are describing, is irresponsible,” Rafalska said, adding that a full fiscal year should elapse in order for data to be reliable, and to draw any conclusions.

The 500+ programme, where Polish families receive PLN 500 a month for the second child onwards, was introduced in the first half of 2016. It was a cornerstone of the pledges of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party which won the general election in late 2015.

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