Poland's COVID 19 Stimulus package upped by EUR 2.4 bn

A further PLN 11 bn (EUR 2.43 bn) has been pledged to fight the economic downturn caused by the CoVID 19 epidemic, a cabinet official has said.

The complementary measures are aimed at protecting jobs, said Lukasz Schreiber, head of the Council of Ministers Standing Committee. The new aid package was announced after the introduction of the "COVID 1.0" plan for small businesses kicked in on April 1. The initial stimulus amounted to PLN 212 bn (EUR 46.81 bn).

The additional funding is aimed at companies employing between 10 and 49 people. A 50 percent reduction in social security contributions for companies employing between 10 and 49 people and extending support for employees on temporary or casual job contracts are foreseen in the new package.

Previously, the government exempted companies employing up to nine people from social insurance contributions for three months.

Additionally, there are also benefits for farmers under quarantine and job protection for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Mr Schreiber added.

Poland's economy is likely to shrink by 2.6 percent in 2020 and expand by 3.2 percent in 2021, according to the results of a survey conducted by the National Bank of Poland (NBP). Average inflation will reach 3.2 percent in 2020 and 2.5 percent in 2021. The growth forecast is in stark contrast to the 3.7 percent growth that was assumed for the Polish budget for 2020. Some of Poland's neighbours and largest export customers such as Germany are predicting between a five and ten percent drop in GDP.