“This is not a success for the government.”  The expert responds to the words of Morawiecki

The text was created as part of the WP Opinions project. We present the diverse perspectives of commentators and public opinion leaders on key social and political issues.

More recently, Mateusz Morawiecki said that “Poles are returning from abroad – instead of fleeing to the West from poverty and unemployment”. – This is a real measure of success, not a measure whose manufacturers boast of an unemployment rate of 14% – emphasized the prime minister, referring to the period of rule of the Civic Platform party. The fact is that the unemployment rate is recorded at the level of 5 percent. (according to Eurostat, up to 2.6%) is very low, and there is practically no unemployment in Poland.

Unemployment rates have fallen since the Great Financial Crisis, which peaked in 2012 (the eurozone debt crisis). Comparing that period to what happened in 2015-2023 is illogical. The war and the pandemic did not create unemployment partly thanks to the shields provided by the government (from taxpayers’ money), but mainly because our entrepreneurs have always been very resilient and able to deal with crises. They got by even with, not thanks to, government help, a good example of which is the failed bug called the “Polish System”.

Earnings in Poland. Did the Poles really get rich?

The fact is that the average wage in Poland has increased by about 60% over this period. (The exact data will be published by the Central Bureau of Statistics at the end of 2023). However, inflation has eaten around 50% in this period, so it is difficult to say that the average Polish citizen will feel an increase in wealth. It makes no sense to compare the average and minimum wages, because, firstly, they have been growing rapidly for a long time, and besides, at least half of working Poles do not fall into these two categories. They work in smaller companies, where wages are shaped differently, and a higher minimum wage only increases the gray economy or unemployment.

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See also: Law and Justice will increase the tax-exempt amount? The deputy minister spoke

What’s more, The data from the Central Statistical Office certainly do not confirm the hypothesis about the mass return of Poles to the country. It is just the opposite. Konkret24 states, based on data from the Central Statistical Office, that “in the years 2016-2022, 70,663 of our compatriots returned to Poland, 80,331 left, and the migration balance for this period was negative and amounted to -9,668”. So the prime minister’s electoral message does not correspond to reality.

Yes, some Poles return, for example, from Great Britain, where most people emigrated before Brexit, in search of work. There, the minimum hourly wage is about PLN 54, which in theory encourages you to leave. However, post-Brexit, the “paperwork” needed to obtain legal work discourages people from working in the UK.

In addition, the economy there is getting worse, inflation is high (about 7 percent, but at food prices similar to ours – about 18 percent). The cost of renting an apartment is growing rapidly. For example, The Sun reports that renting a three-bedroom cottage in Cambridge costs £1,000 a month. So, if someone has a family and needs more space, there is nothing to look for there.

“Such a return to immigration will not be in the interest of the government.”

It is also worth looking at the data on the suspended operations of companies in Poland. For six months, more than 110,000 companies have suspended their activities. comp. And if the pace of this suspension continues until the end of the year, there will be 30% of those suspensions. more than in 2022 This is certainly not a success for the government, and I fear that in 2024, when the minimum wage will increase by 20%, there will be more such suspensions (or even bankruptcies).

Will we witness a trend of re-immigration this year and next? I do not rule it out, because Germany is experiencing a clear recession, which has a negative impact on the entire eurozone. In addition, the media mentions an increasing flow of Ukrainian workers to Germany and other EU countries, who constitute serious competition for the Poles – they are cheaper. However, this re-immigration will certainly not be an advantage for the government.

Piotr Kuczynski, Senior Analyst, Xelion Investment House

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