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Combating child poverty and social exclusion in Poland Irena Wóycicka Gdansk Institute for Market Economics Child poverty conference Brussels, 26 November.

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Presentation on theme: "Combating child poverty and social exclusion in Poland Irena Wóycicka Gdansk Institute for Market Economics Child poverty conference Brussels, 26 November."— Presentation transcript:

1 Combating child poverty and social exclusion in Poland Irena Wóycicka Gdansk Institute for Market Economics Child poverty conference Brussels, 26 November 2009

2 Particularities of child poverty in Poland High at-risk-of-poverty rate (24%) compared to EU and in relation to at-risk-of poverty rate for population at large (40% higher). Poverty is widespread; at-risk-of-poverty rate is very high not only for families with multiple children and single parents but also for 2+2 households. High in-work poverty. Only households with both parents in employment are less often in poverty than the general population. Poverty rate in full-employment households is still high (10%). More than 65% of poor children live in low work intensity (0.5 and less) households.

3 Policy recommendations Child poverty in Poland is a multi-factor phenomenon. There is no single policy direction that can eradicate it. Main policy lines to be addressed: –strengthening of income support and improvement of its effectiveness, –increasing income from work, –reducing unemployment, –reconciling work with family responsibilities, –improving occupational qualifications of parents.

4 Income support: strong and weak points Strong points Increase of the level of family benefits for every 3 rd and subsequent child in Increase of the level of social assistance benefits by about 100% in Weak points Small effect in reducing poverty among families with children (30% poverty reduction in Poland vs 42% in EU-25). Extremely low expenditure on family benefits and social assistance for the working poor population (0.6% of GDP).

5 Increasing income from work and reducing unemployment: strong and weak points Strong points Introduction of the family tax deductions in 2007: reduced the poverty of the population as a whole by 1.1 p.p. Radical drop in unemployment rate (from 19% in 2004 to 7% in 2008 and 8% in Q2 2009). Weak points Rural poverty and high percentage of self- employed (15%). Lack of effective activation policies for people furthest from the labour market.

6 Work and family, adults learning: strong and weak points Strong points Introduction of compulsory pre-school education of children aged 5 (2009). Implementation of the „Family Policy” Act. Good access to secondary and tertiary education. Weak points Very limited access to childcare centres for children aged 0-4. Limited access to vocational education.

7 Conclusions Since the accession to EU the reduction of child poverty and child exclusion became one of the important goals of the social policy. In practice, the policy against child poverty is not sufficiently mainstreamed and consequently, the actions undertaken are often accidental and not well targeted. Within the last five years too little has been done in order to achieve visible and sustainable progress.


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