The Menace of Recession?

PLN 500 for Families

PLN 500 for Families

According to reports, the money provided to families as part of the “Family 500+” programme, launched by the Polish government on April 1, is quickly returning to the stock market. However, an increase in retail sales during the first half of 2016 has not been as significant as was expected. The problem lies with deteriorating market moods amongst entrepreneurs, fewer investments by business and a poor situation on the construction market. Experts assume that this is why the Polish GDP annual growth rate projected in this year’s Finance Act will likely not be achieved. “Following the first half of 2016, we have experienced economic growth that would be the pride of many western European countries, however, current Polish GDP is still too far from the 3.8% projected in the Finance Act for 2016,” said Grzegorz Ogonek of XTB. He continues: “500+ has proved to be driving retail sales but it is not capable of carrying the entire economy”. The XTB expert also expressed his surprise and deep concern over the deteriorating PMI in Poland. “It seems like half of Poland’s entrepreneurs are expecting an economic slowdown,” Ogonek said.
money.pl

Battle for Błaszczykowski

Kuba Błaszczykowski

Kuba Błaszczykowski

There is no doubt that this summer has been particularly hot for Polish international Jakub Błaszczykowski, former captain of the national football team. Last season, spent at Fiorentina, was rather average for Błaszczykowski, where the winger mostly sat on the bench due to injury and a lack of form. His run of misfortune was broken during Euro 2016 in France  where he was widely considered one of the best performers. The Polish team, managed by Adam Nawałka, reached the quarter-finals and Błaszczykowski won the hearts of Polish fans by scoring two goals. The tide, however, again turned in France with the winger failing to score the decisive penalty during Poland’s final game against Portugal, ending Poland’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals. What is more, Błaszczykowski’s fate has been hanging in balance ever since the change of manager at his parent club Borussia Dortmund. According to “Kicker”, Germany’s leading sport magazine, there is no place for Błaszczykowski at Borussia anymore and there are even voices saying that he is to be replaced by Andre Schuerrle, Marco Reus or Ousmane Dembele. He may have a contract for two more years at Borussia, but many European clubs such as Hertha Berlin, Wolfsburg, West Ham, Southampton and Liverpool have already begun battling for Błaszczykowski. Kuba has turned down offers from more ‘exotic’ clubs, Beijing and Chicago Fire, to name but two. The player himself is more hopeful of a deal in Germany or England.
wp.pl

President on a Leash

Who's in Control?

Who’s in Control?

It has been over a week since Warsaw hosted the NATO summit, however, regardless of how successfully the capital of Poland handled the challenge of preparing the event, comments and heated discussions about the nature of current Polish policy continue. Marcin Kierwański, PO (Civic Platform) MP, stated that as long as the Polish government avoids responsibilities for its actions, Poland will not be treated as a partner amongst other democratic countries. What is more, the MP believes that the fact that President Duda’s actions are constantly ‘supervised’ by the leader of PiS (Law and Justice) also affects the image and credibility of Poland. “The joint press conference with Barack Obama demonstrated that President Andrzej Duda is not able to free himself of Jarosław Kaczynski’s influence,” Kierwański continues. The MP reiterated that during the summit, the US President clearly stated that NATO is not just a military alliance, it is also a community with democratic values and Poland needs to share these values, which are the foundation of the organisation. “If Poland is to remain an example of democracy for the rest of the world, there is still more work to be done regarding the impasse surrounding the Polish Constitutional Tribunal,” Obama said. According to Kierwański, Duda is aware that the remarks made by Obama are ultimately true, but he is not able to free himself from Kaczyński. “After being lectured by President Obama, President Duda decided that it is better to remain silent and pretend that everything is fine,” the MP added.
onet.pl

Prosumerism in Poland?

Helping Out?

Helping Out?

In relations between a financial institution and the client, the latter is often in a weaker position. The trend in improving the consumer’s position is ever more visible on the Polish market with a raft of new regulations being introduced, disclosure requirements for financial institutions, and a concerted education campaign giving consumers new found strength. New reports appear in the media every few months highlighting some unfair lending institution which led an elderly person to ruin, or a bank which lured a young family into taking a loan, which turned out to be unpayable for them. Such situations should be eliminated, say experts. They may not completely disappear, but improved legislation can limit such practices. Poland continues to be at the forefront in CEE in improving the lot of consumers.
biznes.newsweek.pl

Marriages Pay Lower Tax

Calculating Marriage

Calculating Marriage

Thanks to a joint tax compliance mechanism, married couples will pay lower taxes. The larger the disproportion in the incomes of spouses, the more beneficial this becomes. While filing your PIT (Personal Income Tax), couples need only fill in one form. In joint tax compliance, income is calculated, but combined only after deductions. Then, we divide the joint income into two and calculate tax on the basis of the tax scale. The actual tax liability is the result multiplied by two. Any tax relief can be deducted from this result. Married couples whose income is significantly unequal, and where one of the spouses’ income is above the tax threshold will benefit most in this situation. This is best illustrated in the example where one spouse does not earn any income at all, and the other makes the minimum amount of PLN 171,056. Then, the total joint annual income will be taxed at a rate of 18%, and the benefit will be PLN 12,529.44.
forbes.pl

European Commission Sues Poland

Erm...

Erm…

Poland has been warned, had its wrists slapped, warned again. However, Eastern Europe’s ‘tiger’ has been summoned before the Court of Justice of the EU for violating regulations and disobeying EU law. According to the European Commission, Poland has failed to complete the implementation of an EU banking directive which relates to saving, the controlled bankruptcy of banks, their recovery and organised liquidation. The deadline for implementing the directive expired on 31 December 2014 and was meant to guarantee the stability of the European financial sector and prevent crises in the future. Besides Poland, states such as the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania and Sweden have been also found guilty by the EC. Recently, the European Commission warned 11 countries including Poland for the incomplete implementation of an energy efficiency directive. Unless Warsaw manages to complete the task within 2 months, the case will end up at the Court of Justice of the EU once again. What is more, the EC has criticised Poland for tax discrimination and has called for a change in regulations. Currently, these regulations make pension fees paid into private pension accounts opened in Polish financial institutions much more profitable in terms of taxes than fees paid into the accounts in other EU member states.
prawo.gazetaprawna.pl

Poland Beats Tunisia

Stéphane Antiga

Stéphane Antiga

On 8 September, the Polish Men’s Volleyball team beat Tunisia 3:0 in the first round of the 2015 World Cup. The Polish team, coached by Frenchman Stéphane Antiga, began the tournament in great style giving them a great chance to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 12 volleyball teams are taking part in the World Cup and will play 11 games over 16 days. Only two best teams will go to Rio. After Tunisia, Poland will now play Russia, Argentina, Iran, Venezuela, Canada, Egypt, Australia, USA, Japan and Italy. Poland had no problems beating Tunisia. The world champions dominated 25:17 in the first set, 25:15 in the second set and 25:20 in the third.
sport.se.pl