The conservative Law and Justice government’s flagship child benefits programme has resulted in increased spending on home appliances and more frequent visits to shopping malls, the ‘Rzeczpospolita’ daily has reported.
The recently-introduced “500+” programme provides all families with two or more children with a state handout of PLN 500 (USD 127, EUR 112) a month per child.
In May, retail sales of household appliances such as refrigerators and televisions jumped by up to 11 percent in Poland, while the number of customers in shopping centers increased 13 percent compared to the previous month, Rzeczpospolita reported.
Dark side of new payouts?
Earlier this month, Polish news website Onet.pl reported that the launch of the benefits programme was followed by a spike in child neglect cases.
“The number of our interventions related to alcohol abuse has increased dramatically,” Piotr Grudziński, head of the local Family Support Centre in Włocławek, central Poland, told Onet.pl.
“When we compared the dates of our interventions with the schedule of the 500+ payments, unfortunately it turned out that such events occur after the money is paid out,” he added.
A recent survey for Rzeczpospolita by pollster IBRiS has shown that 59 percent of Poles approve of the 500+ programme, while 37 percent of respondents said they disapproved of the initiative.