The government wants changes to the 500-plus, including transferring operation of the program to the Social Insurance Institution. This is to provide budget savings. The opposition claims that the change will add to the work of the already overburdened ZUS employees. It also indicates that local governments have invested a lot in the effective operation of the programme.
The second reading took place in the House of Representatives on Thursday The government’s draft amendment to the law on state assistance in raising children. The draft states that the “Rodzina 500 plus” program will be serviced by the Social Insurance Institution, and not – as is now the case – by local governments. It will only be possible to submit claims for benefits online, a The money will be paid in cashless only to the bank account number indicated by the applicant.
Law and Justice Representative Robert Warwas said the planned changes would not make any changes to the family’s rights and availability of the 500 plus benefit.
The purpose of the changes is only to improve the process of handling benefits by using more and more common tools, such as information technology systems, focus on non-cash forms of payment of child benefits, and also strive to reduce costs associated with granting and transferring funds to eligible persons by relying on the company Social insurance. It is planned to automate the granting of rights and the issuance of decisions by providing appropriate software in ZUS, which will reduce application processing costsBecause most applications will not require the employee to handle it. Only in cases where it is necessary to analyze the application annex or conduct explanatory actions with the applicant, the work will be carried out by an employee of the Social Insurance Institution – said Warwas.
The MP in the Law and Justice Party pointed out that Savings obtained in this way can be transferred to subsequent family support programs, such as Family Care Capital.
Representative Iona Maria Kozlowska said that the Civic Coalition Club is against transferring the service of the “Rodzina 500 plus” program to the ZUS. Kozłowska rated it The ZUS situation is terrible, employees are underpaid, overburdened, and the ZUS IT system is ineffective. She emphasized that the self-governments have played their role so far in implementing the program flawlessly.
– After all, local governments have recruited and trained thousands of people dealing with this program across the country. This is amazing The communes incurred huge organizational and operational costs related to its implementation. Depriving the municipalities of servicing the program will reduce their ability to bear debts, and this will reduce the possibility of implementing investment plans.. She said the money they are still receiving as part of this mission is a very important component of their budget.
Deputy KO noted that applications for the benefit are currently being checked by qualified social workers who are more aware of the situation of individual families. As indicated by it More than ten percent of families have applied for more than 500 in paper form, which is no longer available. Kozłowska noted that some applicants are digitally excluded and people are communicating.
Kozłowska reports that the KO Club is proposing three amendments to the draft. The first of them states that the service will continue to be processed by local governments, the second – that applications can still be submitted in electronic and paper form, and the third amendment states that the law will enter into force in 2023.
Magdalena Begat (left) estimated that the 500-plus move to ZUS from January 1, 2022 “won’t get much better”. She noted that the changes had not been consulted with the department’s staff. According to the MP, putting forward such a solution would cause chaos and lead to negative social and economic effects.
She noted that the project does not provide for additional funding for ZUS, neither to increase salaries nor to increase employment. I remembered that ZUS is already in a collective dispute with employeesi) Announcing the submission of amendments that would extend the vacant legislation for a period of one year and cancel the exclusion of the application of the “Family 500 Plus” program from the Public Procurement Law.
Bożena Żelazowska (Polish coalition) assessed that the provisions proposed in the draft were not good. The changes – she said – will burden ZUS employees even more. According to Żelazowska, the funds for the program, as before, should be at the disposal of local governments who know the situation of the families and can check whether the amount will be used for the needs of the child. – From ZUS’s distant perspective, that wouldn’t be possible – she confirmed. The representative stated that the KP-PSL club will vote in favor of the law, provided that the amendments are observed.
Amendments to the law were also introduced by Joanna Mucha (Poland 2050), who noted that local governments have good practices in carrying out this task. It assessed that the project was bad for both local governments and the beneficiaries. – Who is good? to the minister? – asked the deputy. Mucha clarified that one of her edits assumed the art was omitted. 16, which states that “it is possible to arrange an IT system without a bid” supports the program. The second amendment – as announced – relates to the restoration of the monetary form of payment for entitlement.
In turn, Agnieszka Ścigaj (Polskie Sprawy) stated that the project “definitely has more negatives than positives”. I estimated that transferring 500 plus to ZUS is questionable in the context of optimizing service costs. She also indicated that the communes had a system for checking the social status of families. – ZUS will search and wonder what the money is being spent on? No. The ZUS employee will simply make a decision – she indicated. The deputy announced that the relevant amendments will be put forward.
Confederate MP Dobromir Sośnierz considered that the program had no demographic effects and was ineffective as a whole. – 500 plus is de facto alimony for other people’s children and buying voters with their own money – He said.
Deputy Family Minister Barbara Socha, responding to the skepticism of Members of Parliament, noted that the 500 plus benefit is a global and global benefit. She added that the current costs of servicing the benefit are significant. She pointed out that Savings in connection with the introduction of changes exceed 3 billion PLN in a decade perspective. – That’s a lot of money for us and we think it’s worth changing the way you activate this feature without a loss for your beneficiaries – she explained.
She indicated that the form of payment of benefits is changing, as it “succeeded” during the pandemic, when the process of digitizing services accelerated. – We’ve checked how it works with a few different examples. Tourist voucher, solidarity allowance, 300 plus program is implemented today. It noted that there were no technical or organizational problems in any of these cases.
Referring to Representative Swiners’ words about “alimony for others’ children,” the deputy head of the Department of Labor and Social Policy said the statement showed a “lack of basic economic knowledge.” – Today we have a situation in the world that there is a problem with the replacement of generations, and this means that the lack of future generations will affect us as an entire society Sosha was saying. “Even allocating huge amounts of money to retire and take care of ourselves does not secure us for the future,” she added.
– For example, in order to spend this money, even on basic services, people are needed who will provide these services and produce goods – she added. She emphasized that the family transfer program is universal all over the world and that Poland is not the only country that has implemented such a solution.
With regard to submitting the amendments in the second reading, the draft was submitted for review by the Committee on Social and Family Policy.
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