Polish PM downsizes govt after uproar over pay bonuses

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at a visit to the Ulma Family Museum on Jan 2, 2018.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at a visit to the Ulma Family Museum on Jan 2, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

WARSAW (AFP) - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday (March 12) said he was eliminating 17 deputy-minister positions in the conservative government, which critics have accused of being excessive in size.

"I already announced the resignation of five people. With today's changes, that adds up to (a reduction of) 17 deputy-ministers", Morawiecki told reporters.

The head of the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party government did not say how many of the politicians would leave altogether, instead of just switching positions. He also did not say how much money the move would save.

Morawiecki said he wanted to "consolidate the work" of his cabinet, which until recently numbered around 120 ministers, deputy-ministers and state secretaries.

The downsizing comes after local media widely reported that cabinet members had received end-of-year bonuses of up to 20,000 euros (S$32,400), prompting public outrage.

The average monthly salary in Poland is around 1,200 euros.

Morawiecki recently "put an end to bonuses" for ministers, his spokeswoman Joanna Kopcinska told reporters on Monday.