Monday, January 02, 2012

Get to work!

No more lollygagging. No more dragging your heels. No more saying you can't do anything because the president is bad or the opposition is bleh or there's a crisis. No more excuses. The moment of truth is at hand.

For the senior ruling Civic Platform (PO) it is crunch time. Prime Minister Donald Tusk appears to understand this. His plan for the next four years laid out in mid-November comprises an ambitious agenda that would address a lot of economic and fiscal problems, both short- and long-dated ones. It deserves praise and indeed got it.

But how can one not raise the question of execution risk. Or, how can one believe a government that found a lot of reasons to not do anything in the preceding four years and precious few arguments for doing something.
The next three months will in fact already provide a good measure of whether Tusk's promises will be more than paper tigers and will help Poland become a Central European eagle.

In a just approved government plan, January is to start a busy first three months. The government will kick off with taxing copper and silver mining and then change the way the 9mn or so pensions are indexed. For February and March, the government wants to change tax breaks to effectively increase the tax burden, limit the free-spending ways of local governments, limit baby payment eligibility, limit early retirement eligibility for soldiers and police, and raise the retirement age to 67 from 65 for men and to 67 from 60 for women.

Some progress has already been made. Already in December the government increased the amount employers must pay for their employees' disability contribution by 2 percentage points in a bid to raise some 6-7 billion zlotys.

The European Union economy remains on the precipice regardless of the fact we have all enjoyed a couple week break. The global economy's prospects are tough. Consumer and broad sentiment is grim. In such bleak times, reform strength and stamina could be the difference between buying in and selling off. So, I say to the government, get to work.

...After a famine of Poland X posts in December, I pledge to also, er, get to work ...Happy New Year all.


  1. This reminds me of something I recently "read" ... Germany tightened its belt and "got to work" about 10 years ago. By increasing the tax burden, and minimizing wage increases, they are now reaping the benefits. They valued their jobs more than their salaries, and thus followed a sustainable path that has been their lifeboat during the crisis.

    I say to the Polish people - NOW is your chance. Get to work, put in the long hours, and help Poland regain a sliver of its glorious past. We can complain about this, that, and the other. Or, as a united front, we can work to invest in ourselves, as well as in Poland. Work NOW, before the crisis ends and it is too late.

    Super cliche, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And also, where there's a will, there's a way.

    Finally, FLYERS RULE and the OILERS DROOL.

  2. RE the Flyers comment: watch and weep: