The huge level of state spending appears to have boosted rather than damaged Poland’s finances

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

Paul Krugman should be pleased:

State pensions have also been boosted. The retirement age has been lowered and the minimum wage raised. In a second term in office, Law and Justice has promised to double the minimum wage by 2023, distribute annual cash bonuses to pensioners, boost farming subsidies and invest heavily in improving transport in the provinces and rural areas.

The huge level of state spending appears to have boosted rather than damaged Poland’s finances. Levels of private consumption have gone up significantly, fuelling a stellar growth rate last year of 5.1%, which far outstrips the eurozone. This, according to the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, is what “Polish capitalism” looks like, in contrast to the austerity version on offer elsewhere in the EU. During the summer, Kaczyński told a summer rally of supporters that the “system that existed before, where the fruits of growth were not equally divided … has in large part been corrected.”

Ewelina Gastol, a 33-year-old nurse and mother of two small children, lives in the village of Kryspinów, near Kraków. She says that the new money available has changed things for her and her husband, a fireman. “Finally I can afford to pay for a creche. And since we had a second baby, I’ve been able to put some of the extra money into a fund for the children for when they grow up,” she says. Other parents at the local primary school have enthusiastically signed their children up for hip-hop dance classes and other extracurricular activities that would previously have been the province of the better-off.