Polish finance minister resigns as new tax system stumbles

FILE - Poland's Finance Minister Tadeusz Koscinski wears a Ferrari tie at to the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting at the Europa building in Brussels, Dec. 7, 2021. Poland's finance minister has resigned over shortcomings of the new tax system that has led to lower net pay for many professionals, Polands main ruling party said Monday Feb. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, File) (Olivier Matthys, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WARSAW – Poland's finance minister has resigned over “shortcomings” of the new tax system that has led to lower net pay for many professionals, Poland’s main ruling party said Monday.

Finance Minister Tadeusz Koscinski was taking responsibility for the much-criticized tax system and his resignation has been accepted by the party leadership, said Anita Czerwinska. the spokeswoman for the Law and Justice party. She spoke following hours of closed-doors debate by the party leaders, including party head Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Morawiecki will also be acting finance minister until a replacement is found.

The decision comes at a time when deep rifts have been exposed in the main party of Poland's right-wing government and when the position of Kaczynski, the main policy-maker, seems to be weakening. The unpopular tax system, sky-rocketing prices for energy and staple goods, and revelations of Pegasus spyware surveillance of government critics have cut support for the ruling party to the lowest levels in years.

The new Polish Order tax system took effect on Jan. 1, aiming to raise net earnings for those with low or modest incomes. The government was advocating it, saying it will benefit almost 80% of Poles.

However, the complex rules and lack of clear guidance resulted in many professionals getting less money and the government has been scrambling to patch up the system.

Last week Kaczynski admitted that those implementing the new tax system “did not have it fully under control.”