The parliament has approved a draft law on social guarantees, which provides for the reform of the institute of social services and is designed to break the system of Soviet approaches to social welfare.
In particular, it provides for:
- A unified procedure for the provision of social services, including electronic document flow.
- A new classification of social services according to the criteria of the place of provision and location.
- It specifies and expands the grounds for recognizing that individuals or families are in need of such social services.
- Offers a system of preventing the occurrence of difficult life circumstances.
- Promotion of the status of social workers, additional social and labour guarantees and payments for them.
“The social guarantees of Ukrainians should be strengthened, because low-income families, sick people, the unemployed need help from the state most of all, when in fact they receive almost nothing,” noted Roman Semenukha. “For example, the average pension of a person with a disability in 2018 is 2000.9 UAH. We must build a comprehensive system of assistance to people in difficult living conditions.”
According to Roman Semenukha, the high-quality social policy of the state must aim at providing for people’s needs.
Minor payments, a complex system of access to high-quality social services, a lack of social workers destroy people’s trust in the state and its ability to protect citizens.
“Over the past 10 years, more than 7 million Ukrainians have left Ukraine. Now there are 2 million 635 people with disabilities in Ukraine. Some of them could socialize, find a job and become a quality resource if the state stimulated business to employ such citizens with appropriate subsidies, tax discounts, etc.,” said the MP.
The adopted bill will take effect next year.
During its adoption in the parliament, there was a complicated discussion about the powers of regional state administrations, the executive bodies of city councils of cities of regional significance, the councils of united territorial communities regarding ensuring the activities of social managers for the provision of social services assuming there will be one social manager per 10 thousand people and professionals providing social services, social service providers of the state and municipal sectors – in the amount at least one specialist per 1 thousand people living in the city, and 500 people living in a village or town.
This proposal was opposed by the Association of Cities of Ukraine, given that it leads to an increase in the expenditures of local governments by approximately 1.5 billion hryvnias.
On the one hand, the suggestion is aimed at ensuring a comprehensive provision of social services, increasing their accessibility and efficiency. At the same time, in conditions of insufficient funds of local budgets, it really creates an additional financial burden.