Government protection against inflation: the pros and cons of this system
Governmental the anti-inflationary shield 2.0 brings some relief for companies in only one point, according to the bill sent to the Sejm on Wednesday. It allows business buyers of gas to be also subject to zero VAT on this raw material.
Companies will be able to pay a slightly lower current account, which will slightly improve their current liquidity - says Mariusz Zielonka, economic expert of the Lewiatan Confederation. - But this is a small consolation, ultimately in settlements with the tax office on account of VAT, companies will come to zero with this. In its efforts to fight inflation, the government has forgotten about enterprises, emphasizes the expert.
Million dollar increases
At the Wednesday meeting of the Social Dialogue Council, we asked if the government was planning any special protective measures for business. There was no positive answer - Łukasz Bernatowicz, vice-president of Business Center Club, says also "Rzeczpospolita". fiscal, and in six months, when VAT rates are to return to 5%, repeat all the fun.
For the industry as a whole, new prices may be difficult to bear, but blast furnace pizzerias will feel the hardest hit in fees. The sector is horrified by the scale of the increases, and the government is adding more restrictions without listening to arguments.
Meanwhile, companies have to deal with increases in energy prices of several hundred percent. PGNiG's price list for business for January 2022 is PLN 798 MWh net, which is as much as 480%. more than a year ago. The average market price of electricity in December 2021 was approx. PLN 830 per MWh and was by 215%. higher than in January 2021. The increase in corporate electricity and gas bills can therefore be counted in tens of thousands or even millions of zlotys.
Idea of the opposition
What could the government do for business in this situation? - In the face of drastic increases in gas and energy prices, we are calling for the introduction of tariffs for small and medium-sized enterprises that apply to households - says Adam Abramowicz, spokesman for small and medium-sized enterprises.
There was even a glimmer of hope in the Sejm on Wednesday - a rumor spread among deputies that the government's anti-inflationary shield contains such solutions. However, a careful analysis of the regulations showed that none of this. It is interesting that the idea of regulating prices for SMEs is included in a parliamentary draft, which was submitted by the Civic Coalition in recent days.
As we read in the justification of this project, "it is necessary to implement regulations according to which maximum gas prices will be set in the period from September 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022" for two groups of recipients. other enterprises and institutions, gas prices for them would be determined by the president of the ERO on the basis of annual quotations on the commodity exchange from 01/01/2021 to 31/08/2021, i.e. in the period when the prices on the markets have not yet raged
Who pays for it
It seems that the SME sector could be as protected against energy shock shocks as households. In fact, there is no reason why small businesses should be treated worse than the population - comments Wojciech Warski, vice-president of Employers of Poland. - But please remember that these are temporary solutions. As a rule, subsidizing prices for some groups of recipients means that other groups or the state treasury pay more, but in the end - all in terms of product prices or taxes - he points out. The government does not offer an anti-inflation shield for companies, everyone will suffer, especially the catering industry.
The chances that the MP's proposals will come into force are practically none. The more so because - as Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin explained - EU directives do not allow subsidizing energy prices for business.
Narrow room for maneuver
Unfortunately, the room for maneuver for actions that somehow offset the energy increases of companies is small - emphasizes Warski. - It is difficult to imagine any special shields for business - adds Piotr Soroczyński, chief economist of the Polish Chamber of Commerce. - Although the government should think about system solutions, e.g. a more thoughtful energy policy.
It is about, for example, maintaining gas stocks at a high level so as to be independent of market shock fluctuations, expanding the transmission network, diversifying the purchasing policy, etc. - We also have to look for cheaper energy carriers, including developing renewable energy sources, be less dependent on gas imports and raw materials. Obviously, this is not a c-month task