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Budget amendment for 2023 might be necessary says opposition MP

A budget amendment for this year could be necessary since the outgoing government has been hiding the actual state of Polish finances, an opposition MP has said.

The formation of Poland’s new government after the October 15 general elections may not be immediate as the ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS), who won the most votes in the elections but lost its majority, may be asked first by the president to make an attempt at setting up a coalition government. It is likely to fail as at the moment PiS cannot count on any viable coalition partner, while three opposition parties, Civic Coalition (KO), the Third Way and the New Left, have vowed to become a new governing coalition.

Katarzyna Lubnauer, a KO MP, told Polish state-owned Radio Three on Friday that “the 2023 budget will likely have to be amended, as all indications suggest that the deficit is bigger than the government had previously announced.”

The opposition believes the incumbent government had been hiding the state of the finances for months before the elections.

Lubnauer said that EU records show that Poland’s liabilities are much higher than those reported by the government since they include extra-budgetary funds which “are not controlled by the (parliamentary – PAP) public finance committee.”

However, the MP declared that the budget shortfall “will not stop us (the opposition – PAP) from meeting our commitments.”

The new government’s priorities included wage increases for teachers and public workers which, according to her, will be introduced at the beginning of 2024.

Lubnauer added that the implementation of election promises, including an increased tax-free allowance, depends on the president, who needs to entrust the mission of forming a government to the opposition coalition.

“Let us remember that what will be accomplished next and at what pace also depends on the timing of the mission to form a government,” Lubnauer said. “Let me remind you that the government that is stepping down is leaving Poland without a budget for 2024.”

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