Roman Semenukha: Reducing subsidies without introducing transparent tariffs is unfair to people

Over the last year, the poverty rate in Ukraine has increased by 10%. Yet, the Ukrainian government is boasting of an increase in the average wage by 1,640 UAH. The government considers this meagre amount to be a huge increase, that is why it tightens the requirements towards the recipients of subsidies,” said MP Roman Semenukha.

The greatest indignation in the parliamentarian is caused by a number of innovations in the procedure of granting subsidies. In particular, unemployed Ukrainians who are not registered at the employment centres will be left without subsidies. Social security authorities will automatically provide them with 3 times minimum subsistence levels – which makes 5,286 hryvnias – and this will deprive them of the right to receive subsidies. In order to keep the subsidy, the unemployed must register with the employment centre and pay the unified social tax for three months. The regulation, which makes an unemployed person pay a fee, which by its nature is a deduction from wages, is unacceptable and unconstitutional.

Secondly, from now on, the income of those household members who are registered at a household but do not live there and do not use utility services will be considered to be part of this household’s income.

“In other words, the authorities are depriving of the subsidies the parents and pensioners whose children are often registered at the former’s homes, but live separately,” explains Roman Semenukha. “Presently, 55% of pensioners receive a pension of less than 2.5 thousand hryvnias. And the average utility bill during the heating season amounts to 1,872 hryvnias, which is almost the entire pension of an average pensioner.”

Instead of harshening the requirements for the recipients of subsidies, the government should be creating conditions for the improvement of people’s lives.

In 2015, the government of Yatseniuk made every second household dependent on subsidies. Instead of ensuring monetization, the current government is taking these subsidies away. At the same time, it is not creating conditions for people’s comfortable life without such handouts from the state. The Samopomich Union faction has registered a bill No. 8626, canceling the criminal formula “Rotterdam+”, which affects all utility tariffs.

Proposals to the budget committee to increase the funding for the “warm loans” from 400 million to 2 billion hryvnias are submitted as well.

“Where is the promised monetization? Where are transparent tariffs? Without introducing these steps, it is unacceptable to deprive citizens of subsidies,” emphasizes Roman Semenukha.

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