Polish MPs approve new benefits for mothers of four

shinshin

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Polish lawmakers have approved a government plan to pay special minimum pensions to mothers of four or more children.

The measure passed in a 259-20 vote with 134 abstentions in the lower house of parliament in the early hours of Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The legislation now goes to the Senate, the upper house of Poland’s parliament, for further debate.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference last week that his government’s new “Mom 4-plus” programme aimed to benefit “mothers and grandmothers who have devoted their lives to bringing up children” and deserved “gratitude and respect” from society and state authorities.

Elżbieta Rafalska, the minister for family, labour and social policy, told reporters that the government’s new social assistance programme was designed to solve the problem of women who have given birth to and raised at least four children but have not acquired the right to a minimum state pension.

The new “maternal pensions,” to be offered beginning March 1, are expected to benefit nearly 90,000 citizens, according to Rafalska.

They will be paid out to women who have reached the retirement age of 60, the IAR news agency has reported.

The government plans to spend about PLN 11 billion (EUR 2.57 billion, USD 2.92 billion) on the new maternal benefits over the next 10 years, according to the news agency.

This year more than PLN 800 million has been set aside for this purpose, IAR reported

Polish MPs approve new benefits for mothers of four
 

Heraclitus

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Polish lawmakers have approved a government plan to pay special minimum pensions to mothers of four or more children.

The measure passed in a 259-20 vote with 134 abstentions in the lower house of parliament in the early hours of Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The legislation now goes to the Senate, the upper house of Poland’s parliament, for further debate.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference last week that his government’s new “Mom 4-plus” programme aimed to benefit “mothers and grandmothers who have devoted their lives to bringing up children” and deserved “gratitude and respect” from society and state authorities.

Elżbieta Rafalska, the minister for family, labour and social policy, told reporters that the government’s new social assistance programme was designed to solve the problem of women who have given birth to and raised at least four children but have not acquired the right to a minimum state pension.

The new “maternal pensions,” to be offered beginning March 1, are expected to benefit nearly 90,000 citizens, according to Rafalska.

They will be paid out to women who have reached the retirement age of 60, the IAR news agency has reported.

The government plans to spend about PLN 11 billion (EUR 2.57 billion, USD 2.92 billion) on the new maternal benefits over the next 10 years, according to the news agency.

This year more than PLN 800 million has been set aside for this purpose, IAR reported

Polish MPs approve new benefits for mothers of four
Populist, demagogic bollox.
 

George Dillon

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Will they be paying that to the Polish women living in Ireland?

I'm sick of my taxes going to pay Children's Allowance for children in Poland who have never even been in Ireland.

That's assuming such children exist in the case of every claim.

In fact I am certain large numbers of these children are ephemeral. They exist only as long as is needed to rip off the Irish taxpayer.
 

Florence

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I don't see that it affects the Irish taxpayer. We don't pay pensions to mothers of 4+ unless they have enough PRSI contributions in their own right - a pension in Ireland has no relation to the no of children you have or don't have.

If Ireland decided to pay pension to mothers without the required PRSI contributions, then it could have financial consequences and payment might be due to EU citizens who met the Irish rules who were living here at pension age.
 

Tadhg Gaelach

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Tadhg Gaelach

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Will they be paying that to the Polish women living in Ireland?

I'm sick of my taxes going to pay Children's Allowance for children in Poland who have never even been in Ireland.

That's assuming such children exist in the case of every claim.

In fact I am certain large numbers of these children are ephemeral. They exist only as long as is needed to rip off the Irish taxpayer.

The Poles are very good at using chumps like the Irish - while looking after their own at home. Can't really say I blame them. If the Irish have lost the will to live, then the Poles might as well feed their offspring on our rotting carcass.
 

Tadhg Gaelach

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I don't see that it affects the Irish taxpayer. We don't pay pensions to mothers of 4+ unless they have enough PRSI contributions in their own right - a pension in Ireland has no relation to the no of children you have or don't have.

If Ireland decided to pay pension to mothers without the required PRSI contributions, then it could have financial consequences and payment might be due to EU citizens who met the Irish rules who were living here at pension age.

In short, the only way we can promote child bearing in Ireland - is to get out of the EU.
 

shinshin

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
BUDAPEST, Hungary — An hour’s drive from the capital, across the flat and frozen Hungarian plain, the small town of Halásztelek is noisy with construction work as builders put the finishing touches on new single-story houses. They look like a 1950s American suburb that was dropped in the middle of Central Europe, but their humble appearance belies great ambition.

This sleepy town is the testing ground of a generous new benefits program created by Viktor Orban’s Fidesz government to win over millennial couples. But it comes with one condition: that they produce children and reverse Hungary’s demographic collapse.


In their brand-new home, Zsannett Koscis, 28, and her husband, Tomas, 31, dandle their infant son, Vencel, while praising the largesse of the government. As beneficiaries of Orban’s CSOK program, they received a tax-free, non-repayable grant to build their home, as well as generous tax allowances and child-related benefits that allowed Zsannett to give up her work as an office administrator to stay at home and raise their son.

“We claimed the highest amount, which means that we committed to raise three children,” said Tomas. “We wanted a big family, but it was this support which made it possible, and we have 10 years to fulfil this commitment.”

Orban features most often in Western commentary not just for his stern stance on migration from outside Europe but also as a cautionary tale of the continent’s slide away from liberal democracy into soft authoritarianism through his consolidation of judicial power and control of most of the country’s media into the hands of party allies. Opposition activists and parties are not silenced, as in a true dictatorship, but rather crowded out by government-funded media outlets supportive of Orban’s rule. He adheres to the letter of democracy — free and fair elections, a free press — while stacking the decks in his own favor. This delicate dance appears to be working. Increasingly, especially since winning more than two-thirds of seats in Parliament in Hungary’s election last April, he appears to be Europe’s most popular political leader.


The Hungarian leader now aims to expand his brand of populist politics to the rest of the continent, seeking allies to win control of Europe’s political institutions and reshape the European Union in his own image. Underlying his political success is a raft of policies some call “Orbanomics,” a set of redistributive strategies that shield middle-class Hungarian voters from the pressures of unrestrained capitalism, and which, to American eyes, seem almost socialist in generosity.

CSOK, which launched in 2016, is a prime example. Under the program, families who commit to having three children are given a government grant to buy or build a new house equivalent to up to twice the annual average income. Generous welfare payments make it viable for one parent to leave the workforce and stay at home with the children, while carefully targeted tax allowances mean that a family with three children no longer pays income tax at all. Finally, the expansion of free nurseries around the country allows women to re-enter the workforce without denting their income through childcare costs, in contrast to much of Western Europe.

“What we would like to do in Hungary is to give the freedom of choice, the opportunity to choose between staying a long time at home with the children, taking care of them, or going back to work,” Hungarian State Secretary for Families Katalina Novak told VICE News. “These are, I would say, the main pillars of our family support system.”


This blend of soft authoritarianism and benevolent paternalism may be an outlier in the European Union, but in Hungary it has deep roots. In its thousand-year history, Hungary has been a liberal democracy for less than 30 years. Under Communism, the atypically liberal concessions made to popular opinion by the country’s leadership — minimal censorship and political repression, free travel to the West, a restrained version of market capitalism — were termed “Goulash Communism,” as a marker of the country’s unique political settlement.

It is perhaps fair to say Hungary is now experimenting with “Goulash democracy,” where voters accede to Orban’s consolidation of power and are in turn sheltered from the storms of the free market capitalism by high living standards and generous state support. Like many socialist and social-democratic parties in Europe, Hungary’s previous government adhered to free market orthodoxies and paid a heavy price.

Orban is reaping benefits by out-socializing the socialists, said Dorottya Zsikra, a professor of sociology at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

“Fidesz did much more developing nurseries than under previous socialist liberal governments. You would expect the socialist government to invest in nurseries, which they did not do.”

But the Fidesz government’s focus on enhancing the security of middle-class families has had the unexpected outcome of widening disparities of wealth between the poorest sections of society and the middle classes, said Zsikra.


“The major problem here is that Fidesz and the Orban governments do not decrease social inequalities through social policies, but rather they contribute to the increase of inequalities through the means of welfare and social policies,” she said.

In recent years, Orban has established himself on the world stage as a leading voice against immigration, refusing to accept migrants and refugees from the Third World, particularly Islamic nations, at a time when the liberal states of Western Europe struggle to find a solution to the crisis.

It’s no surprise, then, that his family policies at home are also aimed at resisting the perceived threat of demographic decline posed by immigration. National Consultation on Family Policies questionnaires are directly framed in these terms: “Do you want migrants to come into your country from other cultures? Or rather, would you like to have better family policies to have more Hungarian children born?”

Novak, Hungary’s state secretary for families, is unabashed on this point. “It is about our future. It means if we will last as Hungarians, as Hungary or cease to exist," adding "many Western states, let's say in the European Union, also choose [migration] — even if they don't say so, but they do choose it — as a solution for the problem of the labour market for the problem of the maintaining of the pension system… And in Hungary, we think that that should not be a solution for the demographic challenges."
As Europe’s liberal democracies contend with widespread popular dissatisfaction, and populist parties aligning with Orban’s “illiberal democracy” grow in strength, Hungary presents perhaps one possible picture of the continent’s political future: a semi-authoritarian interventionist state raising living standards and eroding the liberal consensus politicians once saw as the end of history.

And as long as the living is good, there’s little reason for Hungarian voters to support the protests aimed at unsettling Orban’s rule, said Zsikra. “Social policy and family policy are important in terms of legitimizing the illiberal road Orban is building for us in Hungary.” Similar policies are now being introduced by Poland’s illiberal Catholic Law and Justice government, and explored by Italy’s populist governing coalition.

In a September 2018 speech in which Orban outlined his political vision. “Calmly, and with restraint and composure, we must say that the generation of the ’90s is arriving to replace the generation of ’68,” he stated to adoring crowds. “In European politics, it is the turn of the anti-communist generation, which has Christian convictions and commitment to the nation. Thirty years ago we thought that Europe was our future. Today we believe that we are Europe’s future.”


Back in Halásztelek, bouncing Vencel on his lap, Tomas noted his satisfaction with the new Hungarian model: “We supported the present government before this allowance too. This help has just confirmed this view, and we will support this government in the future, with all their faults.”
How Hungary's Orban is winning support by out-socializing the socialists
 

George Dillon

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I don't see that it affects the Irish taxpayer. We don't pay pensions to mothers of 4+ unless they have enough PRSI contributions in their own right - a pension in Ireland has no relation to the no of children you have or don't have.

If Ireland decided to pay pension to mothers without the required PRSI contributions, then it could have financial consequences and payment might be due to EU citizens who met the Irish rules who were living here at pension age.

Not sure if you got my point .
Clearly what the Warsaw govt does with its taxes is not my business.

But it certainly is my business when my tax money is used to pay Child Benefit to children in Poland and other East European countries. Children who in most cases have never been in Ireland.

That's assuming those children exist. The scheme is wide open to fraud. Do you think our incompetent state is able to monitor the existence of children in Poland, Lithuania etc?
 

Florence

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Not sure if you got my point .
Clearly what the Warsaw govt does with its taxes is not my business.

But it certainly is my business when my tax money is used to pay Child Benefit to children in Poland and other East European countries. Children who in most cases have never been in Ireland.

That's assuming those children exist. The scheme is wide open to fraud. Do you think our incompetent state is able to monitor the existence of children in Poland, Lithuania etc?

This topic is not about child benefit. Like you I have reservations about the payment of children's allowances to EU citizens in Ireland whose children are (perhaps!) in their country of origin.

What the Polish government is trying to do is to encourage mothers to stay at home to rear their children. When mothers (or indeed fathers) leave the workforce to rear children they lose out on the Polish equivalent of PRSI and do not qualify for an old age pension in their own right which could be a factor in their deciding to do paid work or not. So in effect the Polish government is giving the mothers of larger families credited PRSI contributions which mean she qualifies for a pension in her own right. To some extent this happens in Ireland. If you are rearing a child under 12 here you can apply for PRSI credits for a certain period.
 

Jim

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Ireland solves the lack of Irish children, by supporting the killing of the unborn Irish children , the importation of thousand of fast breeding Africans and Muslims, and gives them every Welfare benefit they can think of to help them quickly out breed the native Irish. Only a Irish Government could come up with such a plan. Sad but it very true.
 
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