– A businessman, especially when unemployment is still low in Poland, introduces “inflationary increase” in his company for his own safety. However, for employees of public institutions – health care, teachers, officials, secret services, the army – inflation is a tragedy – says Pawe Kowal of the Institute for Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
Inflation cannot be hidden from the people. This is why employees of private companies receive one-year raises. Entrepreneurs have long understood that they have no choice – to retain employees, they must introduce “inflation increases” every few months. I put it in quotation marks, because although every person interested in economics learns this concept anew, they will not find it in labor law. The businessman, the manager, especially when unemployment in Poland is low, offers to “inflate” his company for his own safety. However, for employees of public institutions – healthcare, teachers, officials, intelligence and the military – inflation is a tragedy.
It’s easy to say in a TV discussion – the budget domain. In fact, it employs those who, statistically speaking, traditionally earn less in Poland, but the entire country’s organization depends on them. They were the ones who stayed at the station during the pandemic – the lady at town hall issuing IDs, the nurse who couldn’t work online, knowing full well that there were many jobs that could be done this way, unlike his. the service. All of them, hidden under one slogan “budget sphere”, will not get “inflationary increase” so easily. Those who count on a state salary, a small increase, do not do this either. Many of them are employees of city or municipal offices. And they won’t get a premium because it’s the local governments that are getting the most out of their pockets now. In times of inflation, the situation of the state budget in relation to other social groups will deteriorate from month to month.
Budget employees in the social sense are the middle class. But this is our middle class. Unlike the middle class in the rich countries of Western Europe, ours is often without assets, houses for rent and gold in the piggy bank. Our middle class has an apartment on a mortgage and works in an office, a hospital, and a school, with almost no possibility of earning a few extra hundred to compensate for the lack of “overinflation”. So when the nurse receives another installment of the loan to pay off, she will realize that the worst time in decades has begun for her. Paying off a loan becomes an immeasurable burden, and the monthly installment is a source of stress, because sometimes its amount reaches several thousand, and savings (only statistically) shrink before our eyes. Behind the cold information about more than 17 percent. Behind the inflation lies awareness of another pressure in the house at the end of the month. Each of Adam Glabinski’s announcements, given in the form of a political and economic standpoint, for many journalists means a chance for more delicious quotes, but for employees who didn’t get a raise, they’re waiting to be judged on whether to run this month. Thus begins the black night for the Polish middle class, which has not yet had time to unfold.
The text was published in the monthly journal of the Warsaw Medical Chamber “POLIS” 11/2022.
Also read: “Inflation kills health spending”.
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