Unemployment Falls

Bright Future?

Bright Future?

The number of unemployed Poles aged under 25 decreased from 395,000 to 301,000 in the space of one year according to Eurostat. This is a record for the EU and a surprise for economists. Youth unemployment is considered key in assessing a country’s overall economic situation as it is the first indicator to soar in a crisis and the last one to fall when the economy recovers. That was the case in Poland. In 2010, when the ripple effect of the global crisis was felt in the Polish economy, 24% young people were jobless. At the end of 2013 this figure reached almost 27.5%, but after four lean years the unemployment rate in this age group began to drop and did so astonishingly quickly. Total unemployment in Poland also fell last year, from 10% to 8%, marking another EU record. Economists find this unusual, since unemployment only falls so rapidly when GDP growth is around 6% and in 2014 it was only 3.3%. The sharp rise in the number of jobs is a result of the investments of medium-sized and large companies, whose spending on development in 2014 was 16% higher than in the previous year. Governmental programmes designed to reduce youth unemployment also contributed to this improvement. By the summer, the unemployment rate in Poland is expected to drop to 9.7% according to the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS) or even to 7% according to Eurostat. The differences result from the diverse methodologies used by the two institutions. While GUS measures the ratio of registered unemployed people to the total number of people with employment contracts, Eurostat takes into account the business activity of the population in general, including work under civil law contracts and in the grey economy. The BAEL methodology used by Eurostat does not focus on the quality of jobs, however, it gives a fuller picture of the market and allows comparisons within the EU.
wyborcza.pl

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New Fiscal Punitive Measure

Calculating Tax

Calculating Tax

Poles have time up until the end of April to submit their annual tax returns. Companies additionally need to attach their financial statements and a failure to do so is a fiscal misdemeanour as of this year under amended article 80b of the Polish Fiscal Penal Code. Thus, tax authorities have a new tool to discipline businesses which neglect to file their financial statements or auditor’s reports. The classification of this omission as a fiscal misdemeanour means that the penalty may range from PLN 175 to PLN 35,000, whereas a fine for an administrative petty offence does not exceed a few hundred zlotys. The exact amount of the fine depends mainly on the financial standing of the entity in breach of the statutory obligation. In companies the fines are typically imposed on management board members or other persons responsible for tax and accounting settlements. Both the Corporate Income Tax Act and the Personal Income Tax Act stipulate that tax payers must file their financial statements with the tax office, yet noncompliance was so widespread as to prompt the Ministry of Finance to introduce sanctions. The requirement to keep full books of account, prepare financial statements and have them audited vary depending on the legal form of the entity concerned and, in the case of natural persons and some partnerships, on their net revenues from sales in the previous financial year. The tax payers obliged to draft financial statements should remember that the obligation to submit a financial statement to the relevant tax office along with the tax return is separate from and independent of the obligation to file the same statement with the National Court Register.
Puls Biznesu

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Crowdsourced Market Research

Genius of the Crowd

Genius of the Crowd

Polish companies can now check whether their promotional materials have been correctly set up in a shop miles away from the company head office or whether an event organised by a third party provider is following the agreed scenario without sending employees to do field work as mystery shoppers. The task can be assigned to any smartphone owner who is nearby and wants to be involved. This is a market research formula offered by ABR Sesta, a consultancy run by Sebastian Starzyński and Marcin Dobek. The project is based on TakeTask.pl, a mobile application developed by Tomasz Rogalski and modelled on the American FieldAgent solution. The application relies on crowdsourcing in doing market research. In practice this means engaging ordinary people in analyses and tests commissioned by businesses. The precondition for candidates is to have an Android smartphone with internet access. Plus they must be willing to take up the task. The app displays a list of tasks and users pick the ones they want to perform. The nature of the tasks can differ, for example users can be asked to document with a photo the availability of products in a shop or the arrangement of items on shelves. They can also check prices, report consumer behaviour or report places in the public space where repairs are needed. For each single task completed correctly a previously agreed fee is offered. At present, about 2,000 agents are registered. Their work is assessed just as the performance of regular employees would be, that is based on the photos they send and GPS tracking to confirm that they were actually present on the site. Market research conducted with the use of the application is mainly popular with FMCG and electronics manufacturers for auditing points of sale that offer their products.
Puls Biznesu

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Plastic Surgery in Poland?

Changing Face of Poland

Changing Face of Poland

According to the Polish Association of Medical Tourism (PAMT), the Polish market for medical tourism was valued at PLN 1.4 billion in 2014. This has increased by 10% when compared to the previous year and is still expected to grow approximately 10% every year, PAMT president Artur Gosk revealed. In 2014, Polish medical facilities and clinics were visited by around 390,000 foreigners who paid an average of PLN 3,600 for their procedures. Foreign patients are particularly interested in dentistry and plastic surgery; however, there is also a visible growth of interest in areas such as neurosurgery, orthopaedics and oncology. Why are foreign patients attracted to Polish clinics? Firstly, the cost of services is much lower when compared to the cost of the same services in different countries. For example, the average cost of a facelift in the USA is PLN 60,000, whereas in Poland for the same aesthetic procedure patients pay PLN 10,000, implants in the UK cost around PLN 12,500, whereas in Poland the price is PLN 5,000 Secondly, according to a TechSciResearch report, impressively equipped clinics provide high-quality treatment and the doctors are world-class experts. What is more, Poland’s location in the centre of Europe, cheap accommodation, low-cost flights and tourist attractions are advantages which undoubtedly encourage foreigners to visit. This week, a three-year programme promoting Polish health care centres in 7 European Countries came to an end. Unfortunately, experts say that the results are not as good as expected due to a lack of sufficient financial support. The question, therefore, is: will the business keep flourishing despite this obstacle?
rp.pl

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Polish Criminals in British Jails

Luxury Compared to Poland

Luxury Compared to Poland

The British Ministry of Justice has encountered difficulties with the extradition of Polish prisoners who have run away from Poland in order to avoid criminal prosecution or a custodial sentence. A British judge informed the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords that even though Poland has issued European Arrest Warrants for criminals, Poland has delayed many transfers of criminal suspects as every day spent in British custody counts as a part of the criminal’s sentence. What is more, Polish prisoners submit applications and revocations to elude extradition, as they prefer to serve a sentence in British prisons. About one third of more than 2,000 European Arrest Warrants executed in Great Britain pertain to Polish immigrants. Polish criminals are the most numerous group of immigrants in British prisons, and the British government spends £36 million on them annually.
rp.pl

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Symphonic Spring in Poland

Beethoven Easter Festival

Beethoven Easter Festival

The 19th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival offers a treat for symphonic music lovers in Poland. It is one of the country’s major classical music events, and has been organised annually in the period before Easter for almost two decades now. This spring it takes place from 22 March to 3 April and is likely to draw large audiences. Recognised Polish and foreign orchestras, soloists and conductors are the star attractions of the event. The motto of this year’s festival is “Beethoven – his successors and continuators: Brahms and Mahler”. Although the work of the three composers will feature prominently in the programme, music by Dvořák, Schubert, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Brahms and others will also be played. There are two operatic accents in the event also: the long-awaited Polish premiere of Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw” and a concert featuring Ewa Vesin, a soprano, based on the arias and duets selected from the operas of Pietro Mascagni. A few days before the inauguration concert, the festival began with the opening of an exhibition of musical score manuscripts at the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków and accompanying musical events outside the official festival programme. The manuscripts include scores by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Mendelssohn. These valuable and closely guarded documents are rarely shown to the general public. This time they will remain on display in Kraków until 3 April.
Polskie Radio Dwójka

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Crime on the Rise

More Needed?

More Needed?

One billion dollars’ worth of goods have been stolen from Polish shops over the last two years. An increase in theft has been observed caused in all probability by a change in the law. The Polish government increased the amount of money up to PLN 450 which qualifies as an offence. A thief can now only be fined instead of being brought to trial. The lion’s share of all thefts are committed by organised crime groups. They steal alcohol, electronic devices, clothes, cosmetics and coffee from all over the Poland. Not only is poor legislation to blame for this situation but also a lack of a record of offences. Now, organised crime groups can steal in different regions of Poland and be fined several times without further consequences. Another reason for the growing rate of theft is the poor level of security as most security guards are over 40 with one in ten over 60 years old whereas thieves are usually between 18 and 45 years old. The Ministry of Interior is working on changes to the law and on setting up a record of offences. However, it is said that there will be no change in the law for the next two years, that is the term of office of the current Civic Platform (PO) government.
finanse.wp.pl

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