Poland’s welfare spending is lower than in any other EU member state, lagging behind comparatively poorer nations like Romania and Bulgaria, reports Dziennik. According to a recent report by Eurostat, Poland spends a paltry 0.8 percent of GDP on welfare and family benefits, around a third of the EU average. While NGOs have long been raising the alarm, many welfare beneficiaries live in utter poverty, the Polish daily points out, citing the case of single mother of seven Wiesława Sobocińska, living on a mere 1,400 zlotys (€350) a month in state allowances. Experts, it adds, believe that the main issue is not the lack of funds but rather an ineffective system of distribution. “We’re twenty years behind the west in this regard,” argues Anna Oińska at ATD Fourth World, an international movement devoted to ending poverty and social exclusion. “Welfare is distributed in a completely thoughtless manner, according to a single template, and outside any public control.”