The Polish government raised food prices by an average of ten per cent on January 30.
GV INTERIOR Marowska market.
SVs Meat stall; people queueing and buying meat. (5 SHOTS)
SV & CU Shoppers buying food at counter with ration cards.
CU Shop assistant cutting out token from ration card.
CU Woman putting goods into shopping bag.
SVs People buying bread from shop. (3 SHOTS)
SVs PAN People queueing to buy dairy products and suasages. (3 SHOTS)
CU Cashier counting money and giving change.
GV PAN People queueing at food store.
CU Woman leaving supermarket with shopping bags.
SVs INTERIOR Women changing price cards.
GV PAN Empty supermarket ZOOM TO new price list on wall.
CU New price lists going on goods.
SV PAN Official checking price lists and woman counting food coupons.
GV PAN INTERIOR Store at night.
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Background: The Polish government raised food prices by an average of ten per cent on January 30. The authorities had originally wanted the increases to be far higher - but revised their proposals after complaints that they would inflict excessive hardship on the poor. Previous attempts to raise food prices provoked unrest and were a factor in triggering the nationwide strikes in 1980 that led to the formation of the now banned trade union, Solidarity. The latest price increases have been criticised by the official trade unions as well as by underground leaders of Solidarity. The government said the increases were needed to ease the burden of food subsidies on Poland's battered economy. In the capital, Warsaw, there appeared to be little panic buying on the last shopping day before the increases came into effect. Most shoppers had already used their ration cards and as a result most stores and shops were well stocked. Many of the items which went up in price were products such as pork and best butter, which are strictly rationed. Prices for rationed pork chops and ham, which take pride of place on the Polish dinner table, rose by 23 per cent and 41 per cent respectively. Basic products such as bread, milk and cheese also went up in price. Poles earn an average of 140 to 150 dollars a month and the increases mean they are likely to spend between eight and ten per cent of that on meat.