Tusk announces expansion of previous government’s child-benefit payments

Ahead of this Sunday’s local elections, Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced plans to expand a system of payments to parents of young children introduced under the previous government. He also says that previously promised childcare allowances to help mothers return to work are almost ready.

A system known as Family Care Capital was introduced in 2022 by the then Law and Justice (PiS) government. It offers parents of children aged between 12 and 35 months a total of 12,000 zloty (€2,793) for their second and each subsequent child. Tusk says the programme will now also cover the first child.

“This year, every Polish child, without exception, will receive financial assistance from the state,” said the prime minister at an election campaign event for his Civic Coalition (KO) group in Kraków. “The era of exclusion is over and every Polish family will be able to count on state support.”

„Babciowe” i dodatkowe świadczenie już na pierwsze dziecko. Tusk: skończyła się era wykluczenia https://t.co/qa8prYjtsz

— Barbara B (@belingbarbara3) April 4, 2024

Tusk also referred to plans, announced while he was still in opposition last year, to introduce a system of childcare allowances to help mothers return to work. Dubbed “granny payments” (babciowe) – as grandmothers often care for children while mothers work – they would provide up to 1,500 zloty (€349) a month.

The introduction of that benefit was one of the 100 policies that Tusk promised to introduce in his government’s first 100 days in office. However, when that deadline passed two weeks ago, only around a dozen of the promises had been fulfilled.

“We have just finished working on the so-called granny payments,” said the prime minister yesterday. “In a few days, at the next government meeting, we will approve this bill.” He added that he hoped it would be finally introduced “just after the summer holidays”.

Tusk also said that, if a child’s parent wanted to sign a contract with the person employed to provide care, the state would additionally pay the necessary health contributions for a contract worth up to 1,500 zloty. The benefit would apply until the child can go to nursery at the age of three.

Mothers who return to work after maternity leave would get 1500zl (€320) a month from the state under a policy proposed by Poland’s main opposition party

They call the idea “granny payments” because grandmothers often care for children while mothers work https://t.co/wGW9tV2nz6

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) March 24, 2023

Tusk emphasised that the two systems of support – “granny payments” and Family Care Capital – would both be available to parents.

His government has also promised to protect the popular “800+” child benefit scheme introduced by the former Law and Justice (PiS) government that gives parents 800 zloty per month for each of their children.

When the system, initially called “500+”, was first introduced, it was criticised by Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) party, which warned that it would be too expensive.

However, by the time of last year’s parliamentary elections that brought Tusk to power, PO had pledged to maintain PiS’s various social programmes.

The government has only fulfilled 12 of the 100 policies @donaldtusk promised to introduce in his first 100 days in office, a period that finishes this week.

One of his MPs blames the fact they have to rule with coalition partners and a hostile president https://t.co/KpQxWOULxJ

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) March 18, 2024

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Main image credit: Kancelaria Premiera (under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 PL)

Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.

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