In a major snub to Poland’s authoritarian regime – the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party – one of its deputy family ministers Barbara Socha has admitted in an interview for the Warsaw-based broadcaster Radio Wnet that the government’s flagship “500+” child-benefit program “has not and will not” improve the birth rate as it was intended to do.
However, Socha, who is also the government spokesperson for demographic issues, claimed that the program had “not failed” despite being unable to live up to its promise.
The child-benefit program, which according to many critics is a “pork-barrel” project, was introduced on April 1, 2016. PiS announced their intention before the parliamentary election in 2015 and went on to win the election.
Nearly PLN 90 billion (over €20bn) of taxpayers’ money was spent on the project from the time it was introduced until October 31, 2019, according to a report published by Poland’s top audit body, NIK.