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Poland Table of Contents


Structural Change

Until 1989 social policy making was centralized in the Planning Commission of the Council of Ministers. The postcommunist reforms placed social policy responsibility in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, with the aim of liberating social policy from its communist-era linkage with economic policy considerations. The social welfare policy of the postcommunist governments was planned in two phases. The first stage included short-term measures to offset the income losses of certain groups resulting from government antiinflation policy. These measures varied from the setting up of soup kitchens and partial payment of heating bills to reorganization of the social assistance system. The second, long-term policy aims at rebuilding the institutions of the system to conform with the future market economy envisioned by planners. Communal and regional agencies are to assume previously centralized functions, and authority is to be shared with private social agencies and charities.

Data as of October 1992