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Polish spending on energy subsidies could top $1 billion in 2022, says PM

·1 min read
A car is seen in front of the PGNiG Termika Zeran thermal power station after sunset in Warsaw

WARSAW (Reuters) -Polish energy subsidies for consumers could amount to as much as 3 billion-5 billion zlotys ($763 million-$1.27 billion) in 2022, Poland's prime minister said on Friday, adding that the government planned to allocate at least 1.5 billion to help households cope with rising prices.

Benchmark European gas prices have rocketed as tight supply has collided with high demand in economies recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing up wholesale electricity costs.

"Next year we plan to allocate at least 1.5 billion zlotys to energy subsidies ... In our calculations and assumptions for next year's budget we allow for expenditure of even 3-5 billion zlotys," Mateusz Morawiecki said during a Q&A session streamed on Facebook.

Climate Minister Michal Kurtyka told Polish public radio earlier on Friday that the government was proposing to spend 1.5 billion zlotys and that this would cover 2.6 million households.

The aim is to support Poland's poorest households and could come to 700 zlotys a year for a household of four, Kurtyka said.

($1 = 3.9400 zlotys)

(Reporting by Joanna Plucinska, Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Steve Orlofsky)