Family programme

Facing one of the lowest fertility rates in the European Union (EU), the Government of Poland introduced a new family benefit program that had two objectives: encourage fertility and reduce child poverty.

The Family 500+ program, introduced in April, 2016, consists of a monthly payment of PLN 500 (€115) for every child after the first until the age of 18. The benefit was also extended to the first child in families whose income was below a defined threshold.

Given the amount of the per-child benefit - equal to almost 40% of the net minimum wage in 2016 - and the coverage of all children in poorer families, this new program represents a relatively large increase in transfers to households living in poverty in Poland. The program was designed to supplement other social assistance and family benefits and does not influence eligibility to other programs.Eighteen months into the program, it is now time to look whether it has effectively helped... —