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POLAND: Bill on NBP remuneration

In December, the Gazeta Wyborcza daily reported about two employees of the NBP who work closely with Glapiński. Reporters questioned the supposed high earnings of the NBP’s Director of the Communications and Promotion Department and the Director of Glapiński’s office (in-depth overview in the 11.01.2018 CEC Weekly Political Update). Media reports about the earnings of Glapiński’s team have reignited the criticisms that PiS faced at the end of 2017, following reports of financial bonuses in PM Beata Szydło’s government. Several figures from the ruling camp have also expressed their disapproval regarding the situation.

Consequently, a group of PiS MPs submitted a draft amendment bill on the National Bank of Poland, and the bill on restricting business activity of persons fulfilling public offices. The draft law assumes the clarification of the method of determining the remuneration of NBP employees, as well as its President and Deputies. Furthermore, the remuneration value of the NBP’s management will be made public and property declarations will be made obligatory. Additionally, all earnings of NBP management members since 1995 will be disclosed within 30 days of the law’s publication. It is yet unknown when the bill will be discussed by parliament – this will depend on the budget bill proceedings. Though the proposed provisions will certainly address the need to clarify the issue of NBP remunerations for the future, it remains to be seen how the public will react once the current level of wages becomes disclosed. Further reportings of President Glapiński’s involvement in the KNF scandal may, however hinder these efforts and consequently require further attention of the ruling party.

Since the election campaign that has propelled PiS to the government, the party’s key narrative revolved around fighting nepotism, corruption and administrating institutions in a modest and dutiful manner. Each case similar to the NBP matter, allows the opposition to chip away at one of PiS’ core messages. While the ruling party reacts swiftly and attempts to right the wrongs there is a risk of these perception crises cumulating in the eyes of the voters.