Mateusz Morawiecki in charge of two ministries

When the Prime Minister Beata Szydło had announced some government reshuffling, this is not quite what everyone expected. Minister of Finance Paweł Szaramacha filed a resignation. In his place, Prime Minister Szydło appointed Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, currently the head of the Ministry of Development.

The situation in which one person is in charge of two important government departments has never occurred before. The two ministries will not be merged but will remain two independent entities. Certainly, cooperation between the two bodies will now be smoother.

Mateusz Morawiecki is the author of the so-called “Morawiecki plan” that is to give Polish economy a boost. The programme is viewed as audacious and challenging, and certainly will demand some heavy funding.

Meanwhile, as the Minister of Finance, Morawiecki will be in charge of public finances. This means he will need to keep an eye on the execution of the state budget. Experts have mixed feelings about this.

Paweł Szałamacha, the former Minister of Finance, remained vague about the reasons he filed his resignation. The media are not surprised by this change. The sales tax the Ministry introduced, which was supposed to bring substantial revenue to the budget and help financing social reforms, was slashed after the European Commission raised doubts about the compliance of the levy with EU regulations. The bank tax created earlier this year proves less effective in accruing tax revenue than expected.

Mateusz Morawiecki was also appointed the head of the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers. The economic body, recently reintroduced to the Polish political scene by Beata Szydło, is to help coordinate the economic policy of the country. Its first meeting was held on the last day of September. With supervision over the two departments and the Committee, Morawiecki was dubbed by the media “a superminister”.

One of the biggest challenges for Morawiecki will be the state budget for 2017, by many viewed by overly optimistic. Polish economy is starting to show signs of slowing down, new taxes, as for now, bring moderate revenue, and the government has still some social reforms on the way. The most challenging of those, in terms of financing, will be lowering the retirement age from 67 to 65 (men) and 60 (women). Experts warn the move may have very negative impact on Polish economy, as due to negative demographic trends less and less people remain on the job market.