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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Ex-president says Polish politicians are poorly paid

10.08.2021 06:00
Former Polish President Bronisław Komorowski has said the country's politicians are comparatively "very poorly remunerated," adding that pay should be linked to performance.  
Bronisław Komorowski.
Bronisław Komorowski. Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko

Komorowski made the comment in an interview with the TVN24 news channel amid a series of initiatives to increase the salaries of top government officials, lawmakers and the head of state.

Asked if these moves were well-timed and justified, Komorowski replied that "there is never a good time for giving politicians a pay rise."

"Everybody knows that voters dislike pay increases for politicians, and they enjoy it when money is taken away from politicians," he said.

Komorowski also told TVN24 that the latest push for pay rises "could be rightly criticised as an example of inconsistency" after a previous such attempt three years ago by the country's governing conservatives that he said was met with widespread criticism as "the government's misdeed of granting itself awards."

He added, however, that "in fact, politicians in Poland are very poorly paid, compared to their counterparts in other Western countries, those closest to us geographically."

Komorowski also said he wished the salaries of politicians were "somehow linked to the quality of their service."

As it is, he added, the public sees "bickering and poorly performing MPs" and is "averse to pay increases for them."

This prompts "many of the country's best politicians to escape to European institutions," Komorowski also said in the interview on Monday.

At the end of last month, a decree by President Andrzej Duda was published in the Polish Journal of Laws to grant pay rises to the prime minister, speakers of both houses of parliament and other top officials, including deputy ministers.

Lawmakers will also see their salaries expand, as they must earn 80 percent of a deputy minister's base salary, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

In another move, Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party last week submitted a bill to parliament under which the head of state would receive a 40-percent pay hike, with local councillors set to get a 60-percent rise and local-government officials also in for a pay increase.

Meanwhile, the opposition Civic Coalition (KO) group has come up with its own bill to block pay rises for lawmakers, local councillors, Cabinet members and the president. Under that proposal, at least until December 31, 2023, the remuneration of all these officials would not exceed the pay they were entitled to as of July 31, 2021.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP