The government of Poland is set to cancel income tax for roughly two million young workers to halt the brain drain the country has experienced since it joined the European Union 15 years ago.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the tax exemption will bring new opportunities for young people “so they match those available in the West.”
According to a CNN report, the 18 per cent tax exemption in income is restricted to Poles under the age of 26 who earn less than 85,528 Polish zloty ($22,547) a year. It is to be effective from August 1.
On average, the Polish salary stands at just below 60,000 zloty ($15,700) a year.
Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, the country has become the second-largest expatriate community in Europe as many of the highly educated ones leverage on the right to work across the bloc without the need for a work permit or visa.
While advocating for this law before the country’s parliament, Mr Morawieck said 1.7 million people in the youth bracket left Poland in the past 15 years
“It’s as if the entire city of Warsaw left … it’s a gigantic loss.
“This must end, young people must stay in Poland,” he said.
Also commenting on the parliament’s resolution, Barbara Jancewicz, who heads the Economics of Migration Research Unit at the Center of Migration Research in Warsaw, said the country started experiencing shortages of workers in the past three to four years.
“The 18% tax break, it’s a lot, but it still doesn’t close the (earnings) gap between Poland and the UK,” she said.
Kinga Kitowska, a 22 years old analyst, one of the those that left Poland to study in the UK, told the CNN that the government’s offer is generous but it is not enough to make her return.
“To make young people stay in the country, I don’t think that’s the way to go,” she said. “It’s about building opportunities and opening sectors which are attractive for young people at the moment.”