Poland moves to exempt young workers from income tax

WARSAW (AFP) – Polish lawmakers have approved a measure that would exonerate most workers under the age of 26 from income taxes as the country seeks to stem the flow of its young people to other European Union (EU) nations in search of better paying jobs.

The lower house of parliament approved the measure introduced by the ruling conservatives in a vote late on Thursday by an overwhelming majority.

The bill would exonerate workers under the age of 26 from Poland’s 18 per cent personal income tax for those whose gross earnings don’t surpass 85,500 zlotys (USD22,500) per year.

That level is higher than Poland’s average income, estimated to be around 60,000 zlotys per year before tax.

The approval of the measure by the upper house of parliament and its signature by the President is widely expected.

Some two million people could benefit from the measure, according to supporters of the legislation, which should enter into force from August 1.

Poland has long been haemorrhaging skilled workers to other EU states where they can find better paying jobs.

The measure was one of the campaign promises made by the ruling Law and Justice party ahead of the European parliamentary elections in May, which it won, and legislative elections scheduled for later this year.