The government should shift the priority from supporting Naftogaz to supporting people

“When the government says that the price of Ukrainian gas is becoming the market one, we as consumers should not care as for where the gas comes from. Now the number one priority is just to pay less. Therefore, we as consumers want the state support to be provided not for “Ukrgasvydobuvannya” but for reducing the consumption, i.e. for energy efficiency,” said MP Aliona Babak.

“At present 40 billion are sent as subsidies in transit to “Naftogaz”. The government should shift the emphasis from supporting “Naftogaz” to supporting people. This will protect the people who receive pensions of less than 2 thousand hryvnias, this will protect those who are not eligible for subsidies and, in fact, will have to fully suffer from the ineffectiveness of the obsolete housing and communal system,” the lawmaker assured.

In addition, tariff setting is within the  scope of competence of the government and the National Commission for State Regulation in Energy and Utilities, so the deputies have only 2 ways to affect the situation: change the rules of the “top-down” game – for example, to introduce a legislative moratorium – or to go to law.

“As for moratoria, we have been down this road before. This is not a marketing tool. This is a political decision, which sooner or later will have a devastating impact on the economy,” said Aliona Babak.

“Thus, the last resort is going to court. There are two political forces having filed such claims. However, from a legal point of view it should be understood that the court in reaching its decision will refer to the law exclusively. And in the law we have only one cause to which one can refer in determining the reasonableness of the tariffs, and this the quality of services. Thus whatever obvious the inadequacy of tariffs is, the court will not conduct macroeconomic debates, so the chances of winning such a case in the court are slim to none.”

“Therefore, we offer to refocus the emphasis of public financial support: to allocate the money not for subsidies but for reduction of the tariffs through an energy efficiency program.”

Alona Babak
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