President Andrzej Duda signed the amendment on the extension of the "Family 500+" child benefit programme on Thursday, according to which all first-born children in Poland will be entitled to a benefit of PLN 500 (EUR 116) per month.
“I always keep telling that if I hear from the common Polish family at the end of my presidential tenure, that their standard of life has improved, that their life is better, safer, more stable, that they are, simply speaking, wealthier, I will consider my goal completed,” President Duda said.
Applications for the benefits can be made from July 1.
Currently, the benefit is granted to the second and subsequent children. The first one qualifies to receive money only after meeting specific income criteria - PLN 800 (EUR 186) net or lower monthly per person in the family, or PLN 1,200 (EUR 280) net or lower in the family, of which member is a child with a disability.
The right to the benefit will also be granted for children placed in care institutions (up to the 18 years of age).
Data from the Government Information Centre show that from April 1, 2016, that is from the moment the programme was launched, about PLN 70 bn (EUR 16.3 bn) was allocated to it (as of March 2019).
At the moment, the programme is beneficial to over 3.6 million children (around 52 percent of all children up to 18 years of age in Poland). It is estimated that 6.8 million children will benefit from the extended programme. After the changes introduced in 2019, the 500+ will cost the state budget about PLN 31 bn (EUR 7.2 bn), and in 2020 - PLN 41 bn (EUR 9.5 bn).