Samopomich has repeatedly criticized the state budget-2019, but the political force always presents its own suggestions along with criticism. And most importantly it indicates where the money for each of the suggestions can be really taken from.
Security is the most expensive service. It should be ensured by the best. And if we want to attract the best, then the state must be honest. This is not the way things are now.
In the time of the Russian aggression, the defence of the state should be a priority. Yet, for some reason, in the draft state budget, in which it is planned to spend 204.7 billion hryvnias on National Security and Defence, only 106.8 billion hryvnias or 52.2% are allocated for the army itself. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Service of Ukraine, intelligence services and other law enforcement agencies will receive 97.9 billion hryvnias or 47.8%. The authorities are afraid of revolts or how else can they justify these figures?
The state should be expressing its love with money and should show the soldiers that while they are defending the country, the country has not forgotten about them. It is also necessary to provide funding for the military to be able to obtain new specialties and funding for housing of the military. Samopomich insists on tripling the funding for the housing. The state budget is going to provide 840 million hryvnias for this. That is the cost of about a thousand apartments. At the same time, there are 255 thousand people serving in the Ukrainian army.
The state should take care of ordinary soldiers. Samopomich insists on decent payment for soldiers – at least $1,000. In addition, it is necessary to establish a rigid control over who will receive this money. These are the soldiers from the front line that should receive it, not armchair warriors.
Samopomich requires reforming the system of benefits. The state is deceiving people because it has promised land to all veterans. But the state has no land. Therefore, the state has laid this responsibility on the shoulders of local governments. The state promises combat payments, payments for the destroyed equipment of the enemy – but does deliver on its promises. All promises of the state have turned into corruption schemes.
The way out of this is fair cash payments. For example, the Lviv City Council pays 100 thousand hryvnias of compensation to each veteran for participating in hostilities. But this should be the responsibility of the state, not the city. Soldiers are performing a state function of protecting the territorial integrity.
The reform should be carried out throughout Ukraine, not only in 5 regions. Samopomich demands proper funding for emergency medicine in the first place – to make sure there are enough modern ambulances with proper equipment and medicine.
The government allocated less than 3 billion hryvnias for this, whereas at least 11 billion hryvnias are needed.
In addition, it is necessary to increase the salary of medical specialists of the 2nd and 3rd levels of medical care. Presently, there are 55.5 billion hryvnias in the budget for this, whereas the Ministry of Health assesses the need in 2019 at the level of 94.3 billion hryvnias.
Education is the future of the state. One should never save on the future. The government provides 242 billion hryvnias for education; yet, schools in villages are being closed down. Samopomich emphasizes the inadmissibility of saving on education and says that no big money is needed for this. For example, in order to set up 2,000 rooms of natural sciences in schools, it is necessary to find only 280 million hryvnias in a trillion budget.
Another important issue is the salary of teachers. We constantly hear that there is no real increase in salaries on the ground. Samopomich proposes to finance the educational subvention in accordance with the real needs of the industry. The salaries of teachers should grow not only on paper.
The funding for research projects should double. Young scientists should have access to financial resources. The newly established National Research Foundation should be responsible for this.
The budget-2019 is once again “robbing” local budgets. This time, the draft budget significantly reduced the amount of funding for the educational subvention (by 14.6 billion hryvnias) and the medical subvention (by 12.1 billion hryvnias). This means that the local governments will be forced to cover these funds from their own funds by reducing their development budgets. Looks like the government wants to turn local governments into “salary payment offices” under the powers delegated by the state.
Energy efficiency and subsidies
The price of gas for the population has already increased by 23.5%. Even with the old price, people’s debts for the supply of natural gas amounted to 16.7 billion hryvnias, for centralized heating and hot water supply – to 10.8 billion hryvnias. Further increases will be even more unaffordable.
The solution is to increase the subvention for subsidies to 60 billion hryvnias and increase funding for the “warm credits” program. The government allocated only 400 million hryvnias. Samopomich insists on increasing this figure to 2 billion hryvnias. Then it will be possible to attract about 230 thousand loans, which will have an effect for more than 700 thousand households. At the same time, the predicted volume of gas savings will reach more than 300 million cubic metres per year. Savings for the budget will amount to more than 2 billion hryvnias, which will even exceed the expenditures from the budget for this program.
Credits for the youth
The state should stop labour migration. Over two years, 4 million young able-bodied people have left Ukraine. One of the ways to keep able-bodied youth in the country is to implement the program of giving preferential credits to the youth for purchasing housing.
Samopomich offers a new efficient budget program with funding of more than 1.5 billion hryvnias. Presently, the government plans to allocate one and a half times less money for such a program than for the maintenance of the Cabinet’s car fleet.
Where to take money from?
As a matter of fact, there is money in the state. The problem is that it is spent in wrong places and on wrong things.
Samopomich suggests replacing the corporate income tax with the tax on withdrawn capital. This will put an end to the withdrawal of funds to offshores, will ensure additional investments in the economy – 470 billion hryvnias in 5 years, additionally created GDP – 1,031 billion hryvnias in 5 years, additional GDP growth – 1.0% per year.
It is also necessary to reduce the money spent on all officials by 20%. Ranging from ministries to regional state administrations. In Ukraine, up to 0.5 billion hryvnias are spent on some regional state administrations – this is more than is spent on some of the ministries. We offer a 50% reduction in the funding for a number of budget programs that are not within the competence of ministries and departments. As a rule, such programs are created for money laundering.
The most important thing is for the government to fulfill its promise to finally fight the schemes at the customs. In the summer, Hroisnam said that because of frauds at the customs the state had lost 100 billion hryvnias.