Govt accepts ‘anti-crisis shield’ draft

The Polish government passed all of the measures contained in its “anti-crisis shield”, on Wednesday, the Prime Minister's office reported. The package consists of measures to aid the Polish economy during the global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

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Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Development Minister, expressed her hope that if all went well with the legislation, the shield could come into force on April 1.

The plan among other things introduces extended loan guarantees for small and medium enterprises, the self-employed and employees on unsecured job contracts, as well as assistance with social security payments.

The self-employed and full- time staff on non standard contracts whose earnings have been hit by the slowdown will also be eligible to apply for monthly financial aid amounting to around PLN 2,000 (EUR 437).

The legislation foresees micro-loans for businesses, raised corporate loan guarantees (from 60 percent to 80 percent of the loan amount) and aid with leasing costs. Also, the government will cover up to 40 percent of the average wage for employers who decide not to downsize staff and ailing businesses.

The draft also contains clauses protecting consumers against excessive price hikes and temporarily suspends prolongation fees on tax and social security payments. It also enables deductions of donations related to the struggle against the epidemic from taxes.

Shopping mall traders whose shops are currently closed will be eligible for a 90-percent rent reduction for the closure period.