Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Poland won by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS). It seems that with a result allowing for the continuation of independent rule. For the retail market, it means a continuation of current trends, i.e. on the one hand stimulation of the market with social spending, and on the other hand a growing number of regulations and uncertainty about the adopted law.
Since taking power in 2015. The Law and Justice party has introduced a number of social programs that have made a positive impact on the disposable income of Poles, and thus on their consumption spending. It is worth mentioning here first of all the introduction and then extension of the Family 500+ programme (PLN 500 per month for parents from each child in the family), payment of a pension of PLN 1.1 thousand, reduction of the basic PIT rate from 18% to 17% or introduction of a zero PIT rate for people under 26 years of age.
Regulations and taxes
On the other hand, recent years have seen the introduction of a ban on trade on Sundays and a tax on retail sales, which was suspended after being appealed by the European Commission to the EU Court, but after a positive decision of the latter may return in the near future. It is also a period of growing uncertainty as to the law in force. Many regulations were introduced at the last minute, without giving retailers much time to prepare for the change. An illustrative example is the introduction of the 12 November 2018 free day just a few days in advance.
Given the large number of promises made before the elections, social stimulation is expected to continue. In 2020, 13 pensions are to be paid out again and in 2021, the poorest pensioners are to receive 14 pensions as well. Before the elections, it was also announced that the minimum wage would be raised faster, so that by the end of 2023 it would have reached PLN 4,000. On the one hand, this would mean a significant increase in the disposable income of Poles, but on the other hand, there would be huge problems for trade, where the vast majority of employees earn much less than this ceiling.
Taking into account the number and cost of promises, we should not expect any more projects of this type in the coming years. An exception could be the situation if the polls before the presidential elections in 2020 were negative for the probable candidate of the Law and Justice party, i.e. the incumbent president.