“Large-scale social assistance programs on the eve of the elections are a bribe from the authorities” – Roman Semenukha

At the initiative of the President, over the past few weeks, the government has been conducting a large-scale campaign aimed at improving lives of several million socially vulnerable Ukrainians. Monetization of subsidies, one-time indexation of pensions, additional payments to large families, housing for orphans, municipal nannies and the like.

“It looks like the authorities are taking care of everybody in need of the support from the state. These are good ideas indeed. The only questions are why these initiatives are being implemented in the electoral period and if there are real resources to back them?” MP Roman Semenukha asks a non-rhetorical question.

“Monetization of subsidies is a right idea, Samopomich has always supported it, but why is it being done only now, why didn’t we do it in 2015 for example?” continues Semenukha. “In fact, this is just voter bribing, because the subsidy program is being virtually curtailed – the number of recipients has decreased by almost a third over the year, although there are 55% more of those asking for help now. The amount of subsidies has decreased by 21%. The total amount of funding provided for subsidies has decreased by 13 billion hryvnias over the year.”

The fact that people cannot afford to pay at higher rates is evidenced by the increase in public debt for housing and communal services. Over 4 months, it has grown from 38.2 to 62.6 billion hryvnias.

Pensioners are the electorate in whose support the authorities are interested. That is why, the lawmaker says, there will be one-time payments made for non-indexed pensions of previous years during the electoral period.

“Increasing pensions is a necessary step, however it should take place not in the form of one-time “charity”, but be of a systematic nature if there are resources for them,” notes Roman Semenukha. “Meanwhile, there are no resources presently: the money from the customs clearance of cars with European licence plates will end after the distribution of the one-time assistance and the number of insured persons paying unified social tax decreased by almost 60,000 people over the last three months of 2018.”

Helping young people is yet another promise. In three programs of housing loans to young families, the government has provided a little over 100 million hryvnias.

Support for orphans is a fiction, as evidenced by the report of the Accounts Chamber. Every fifth apartment that they buy is not suitable for living in it.

“One-time “charity” has nothing to do with real structural reforms. Instead of ensuring real economic and social freedoms for Ukrainians the government is resorting to bribing of people. And it is doing this in order to be re-elected at any cost. There is a way out for Ukrainians – to come to the polls on March 31 and make a choice in a peaceful constitutional way. The Samopomich Union Party and Andriy Sadovyi have made their moral choice. So we urge Ukrainians to come to the polls and give chance to future generations,” summed up the MP.

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