In primary school, every Polish kid learns about symbiosis – a close and long-term interaction between two different species, that can be observed e.g. when clownfish feeds the anemone with its fecal matter, and in exchange anemone protects the clownfish from predators using its stinging cells, to which the clownfish is immune. Their cooperation should be an example for healthy relations between the government and its strategic sectors. Unfortunately, the relation between the State and mining industry seems more like a parasitic arrangement, where on one hand the government sucks the body fluids of its host, and on the other stabs him in the back, imposing Draconian EU climate laws.
Yesterday we wrote about the public aid for the hard coal producers in Poland, which in the media is always presented as a gift from the taxpayers to the miners. Today we present you some more data on the taxes paid by mining sector.
Between 2007 and 2015, coal producing industry received from the public money 4.916bn PLN. Sounds like a lot, but comparing that to the 61bn PLN duties paid in that period, it can simply be said, that all the 13th and 14th salaries with additional bonuses for miners are covered from the revenues they generate, not from the “favor of the generous politicians and the rest of society”.
By average, hard coal producers pay in various impositions around 8bn PLN each year, which accounts for 3% of all State’s Treasury revenues. 4% of that money goes to the local administration, another 1.4% is transferred to the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled People (PFRON). Bit more (1.5%) reach the pocket of National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW), which immediately raises a question: what for? The mining sector itself paid in last 5 years 2.8bn PLN to cover for all the mining damage, environmental rehabilitation and fines for infracting the eco-laws.
Further 44.9% is taken by the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS). Despite the fact that since 2013 great majority of coal producers is closing the year with red result, they still cover 100% of duties related to social insurance.
Finally, almost half of the abovementioned 8bn PLN goes directly to the State’s Treasure. Comparing that with the budget reserved for the military and national defense (31bn PLN), it can be said that one from every 8 guns carried by the soldiers was purchased with money coming from hard coal production. In the light of these numbers, Polish mines not only secure the energy safety of Poland, but also its territorial integrity.
During the parliamentary election in Autumn a few political parties were promising significant cuts on coal mining taxes, including KORWiN, Kukiz ’15 and PiS. The glorious victory of that last one raised hopes that finally the government will stop acting like a parasite. Would PiS come up to the mark and decrease all the impositions? Or will it follow the convenient policy of throwing scraps, like a mugger who steals your wallet but allows you to keep the ID and a photo of your kids.