Bereziuk: “Without the fight against corruption, the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian budget will always serve the oligarchs”

This week the parliament will consider in the first reading the draft budget of the country for 2018. During the parliamentary coordination board’s meeting, chairman of the Samopomich Union faction Oleh Bereziuk has noted that in the next budget the Cabinet does not do away with the oligarchic sources of plundering the state at all, but once again stuffs the budget with a direct or indirect increase in taxation of small and medium-sized businesses.

“Our government keeps forgetting that the country’s budget consists of two parts. These are the revenues and expenditures. So where do the revenues come from? Not from the money of the oligarchs – because the customs remains untouchable, because transfer pricing remains on paper, and the export of natural resources is carried out under the same oligarchic scenarios – with minimal prices and without appropriate taxation.

The budget revenues come from direct and indirect taxation of small and medium-sized businesses. The raising of the excise tax on radio frequencies indicates that today everyone – entrepreneurs, ordinary people and pensioners – will pay more for communication, because the government does not want to liquidate the oligarchic schemes, but only wants to satisfy its needs at the expense of people’s money.

And where will the money, which is taken away from small and medium-sized businesses, go (I mean the expenditure side of the budget)? The cost of financing the central authorities is increased by 10 billion hryvnias.

In addition to this, the money of small and medium-sized business is used to increase the funding of law enforcement agencies – the Security Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Prosecutor General’s Office. Isn’t that ironic that then these same bodies go to the same entrepreneurs, medium and small ones (not to the oligarchs), and demand money from them?

The money of small and medium-sized businesses is paid to the police state, which pursues those who pay taxes instead of looking for criminals. This is cynicism and the construction or restoration of a colonial system in Ukraine,” says Oleh Bereziuk.

Secondly, the chairman of the faction draws attention to the blatant robbery of the budgets of local self-government: “As soon as we started seeing prospects of the Magdeburg law in Ukraine, terrible things began to emerge – 8 billion are taken away from local budgets to cover the state’s debts for housing and communal services, and another 7 billion – to cover the benefits for housing and communal services.”

Oleh Bereziuk also emphasizes the need for proper financing of medicine. “We have voted for a really new philosophical system of using central government money for health care – medical reform. But it is impossible without funding! Therefore, the 7 billion that the state allegedly wants to optimize as a result of the reform must be immediately returned to medicine. Then the reform will happen. And another 4 billion must be returned in order to improve the work of the emergency medical service. After all, today the emergency medicine is practically paralyzed due to the lack of state funding, and let me remind you that the reform of this industry took place four years ago.”

Oleh Bereziuk has no doubt that financing of the army should be increased and that next year the growth should amount to almost 20 billion hryvnias. “But all these budget items are classified. It is true that it is necessary to classify technologies, but even in such a huge military state as the US people know what the state budget is spent on. Therefore, we must introduce a system of civilian parliamentary control over defense spending. Without this, we will be producing mortars that will be exploding at the test sites,” the MP believes.

And the last thing underscored by Oleh Bereziuk is the fight against corruption, “Today the President is playing a double game and wouldn’t introduce a law on the Anticorruption Court, which is demanded by the Ukrainian society, protesters, the world community, including the International Monetary Fund. Without the fight against corruption, the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian budget will always serve the oligarchs,” the head of the faction sums up.

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