Poles want Ukrainians to work rather than claim benefits, new polling shows

Ukrainian volunteer Oleksandr Osetynskyi, 44, holds a Ukrainian flag and directs hundreds of refugees after fleeing from Ukraine and arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Monday, March 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

New polling research from Warsaw University shows an increasing number of Poles want Ukrainians to work in Poland and are opposed to financing welfare benefits for these newcomers.

The poll carried out in January shows that although public opinion is still well-disposed to Ukrainian refugees, there has been a significant shift against funding welfare support for Ukrainians and financing their housing needs.

The data shows that 83 percent of Poles were in favor of Poland helping Ukraine during a time of war, down from 90 percent this time last year. However, when it comes to giving more aid than present levels, opinions are more split, with 36 percent saying they are for more aid and 45 percent against.  

According to the poll, 53 percent oppose welfare for Ukrainian children in Ukraine, with only 21 percent in favor. Additionally, 47 percent of the sample were also against Ukrainians having parity with Poles with regard to rights to benefits

There has been a rise in the number of opponents of financing housing and food for Ukrainian refugees as well, with 44 percent now against this policy, while only 21 percent remain supportive. This represents a major shift in public opinion, since two years ago 50 percent were for and only 20 percent against. 

The Tusk government has promised that by June it will prepare new regulations to help verify Ukrainian claims and ensure that aid goes only to those who really need it. The welfare spending on Ukrainian refugees was estimated to cost around $1 billion this year, but the new government feels that another $500 million will be needed. 

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