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English Section

Polish MPs back aid to firms hurt by coronavirus restrictions

20.11.2020 09:45
Polish lawmakers have backed a government plan to offer help to companies affected by the latest round of restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus infections.
The lower house of Polands parliament, the Sejm, in session amid COVID-19 precautions in Warsaw on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
The lower house of Poland's parliament, the Sejm, in session amid COVID-19 precautions in Warsaw on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

Poland’s prime minister at the end of last month promised millions in government aid to companies hit by coronavirus curbs in sectors including food service, entertainment, health and fitness, and retail.

Mateusz Morawiecki said at the time that the PLN 1.83 billion (EUR 400 million, USD 470 million) support package would benefit some 200,000 businesses across the nation and around 372,000 employees.

The lower house of parliament on Thursday night overwhelmingly approved those plans in a 433-3 vote with 13 abstentions, state news agency PAP reported.

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

As part of the proposed package, companies active in the food service, entertainment, health-and-fitness and retail industries would temporarily be exempt from social insurance contributions and compensated for downtime from public coffers in an effort to save jobs.

Businesses will also be eligible for a range of non-refundable subsidies, according to officials.

Morawiecki has said that some 5 million jobs have been saved throughout the country thanks to measures including a massive relief and stimulus package that his government launched earlier this year to shield the economy from the coronavirus.

Following a surge in cases, tougher measures to battle COVID-19 were reinstated in Poland last month, affecting businesses including restaurants, bars and gyms.

The country on Thursday reported 23,975 fresh coronavirus infections and a record 637 new deaths, its worst daily toll since the start of the pandemic.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP