Rising cost of living sours New Year cheer
Oil broke the 100 USD barrier at the beginning of the year which has resulted in a knock-on effect throughout the economy. Everyday goods such as bread, milk and cheese may rise up to ten percent according to some experts. Economists warn that if government intervention to reduce costs for imported goods and petrol prices is not undertaken immediately, consumers will begin to feel the pinch.
Car owners will be directly affected by fuel costs at the pump with prices increasing by up to 0.8 zloty per liter.
The price of power is also expected to rise by 10 to 15 percent with the average family spending around 160 zloty more for electricity per annum. The end of price control via the Office of Power Industry Regulation for electricity has resulted in the increase, as price is now determined by the companies selling energy.
Refuse collection is expected to increase with collection companies being slugged by a new tariff of 75 zloty per ton up from 15 zloty for non-segregated refuse. Residents will bear the brunt of the increase from January, paying up to 100 percent more for rubbish collection services. This translates to 5 zloty per person per month or double the previous rate, with individual rubbish bin owners paying 22 zloty, up from 14 zloty for a 120 liter bin.
Residential flat prices are set to increase too, especially in towns and smaller cities, and will be compounded by a rise in mortgage rates. Communal leases in Krakow will also increase with residents to pay from 4.42 to 7.87 zloty per square meter.
In concert with EU thinking on discouraging smoking, cigarette prices are set to rise with an increase in government tax which is allegedly going to be passed on to physicians and teachers through wage increases. The government expects to raise 2.3 mln zloty from price increases of up to 0.5 zloty per pack of cigarettes.
Some relief from the rising cost of living is expected through an increase in minimum wages, lowering of superannuation and higher allowances for children via PIT tax.