EAPN Poland outlines that 2023 will be a difficult year due to low economic growth and still high inflation, as well as the absence of some income support measures due to rising energy prices. Furthermore, this will also be another year of real depreciation for a large part of family and child benefits.
On the other hand, the labour market situation will still be good; with two increases in the minimum wage and minimum hourly rates at the beginning of the year, as well as the indexation of pensions and disability benefits in March 2023.
Some observations by EAPN Poland:
- In 2022, extreme poverty remained at 4.7% (Statistics Poland changed methodology based on the census). The extent of relative poverty decreased slightly (from 12.2 to 11.8%).
- The number of Poles living in extreme poverty is still huge – 1.8 million, and more than 4.5 million were living in a situation of relative poverty.
- The number of children in extreme poverty increased by around 26 000 to 396 000 compared to 371 000 in 2021 (an increase from 5.3 to 5.7%). If it were to be less than 1%, which should be the government’s target, this figure should be no higher than 69,000. To achieve this, the extent of extreme child poverty would have to decrease by as much as 83%.
- The number of seniors in extreme poverty increased by around 14,000 – from 272,000 in 2021 to 287,000 in 2022 (an increase from 3.8 to 3.9%).
- Energy poverty has been officially defined in Poland, but data on it are published with a long delay. For 2022, we know only one rate of inability to adequately heat a flat or house, rising from 3.2% to 4.9% which means 1.8 million people.
- Projections for 2023 are negative. The recorded percentage expressing fear of poverty in 2023 is the highest since 2015 and was as high as 30%. Total poverty, extreme poverty of children, seniors and people with disabilities will increase mainly due to the difficult economic situation, high inflation, the lack of one-off protective allowances form 2022 and the lack of child benefits indexation.
- In 2024, poverty may stabilise due to an improving economy, reduced inflation, a still good labour market situation and an increase in universal child benefit (500+) by 200 PLN.