The following year we should demonstrate a breakthrough, when we succeed to ensure economic growth and new quality of people's lives. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman announced at the extraordinary Cabinet’s meeting dedicated to considering the draft Law of Ukraine "On State budget of Ukraine for 2017", prepared for the second reading pursuant to the budget conclusions.
"Next year will become a breakthrough in achieving economic boost and new quality of people’s lives”, said the Prime Minister. “It is very important that the plans that we approve are unpopular, they are complex, but real. This is what our Government can do the following year".
The Prime Minister noted that the Government had done everything in power to ensure the timely submission to the Ukrainian Parliament and adoption of the Law of Ukraine "On the State budget for 2017".
"Despite the fact that the Parliament, and we are grateful for that, gave us extra time to submit the Law, we have fulfilled everything dependent on the Government to ensure that the Law "On State budget for 2017” be timely directed to the Ukrainian Parliament", said Volodymyr Groysman.
The Prime Minister reminded that the Government had submitted the draft Budget to the Parliament back on 15 September and had had a series of discussions with members of Parliament. In this regard, Volodymyr Groysman thanked MPs for the substantive debate in the discussion of the draft Budget.
"The budget that we had submitted to the Parliament, it was then approved in the first reading, has now been prepared for the second reading. It is absolutely honest, it is a Budget that is well balanced and real", stressed the Head of Government.
Among the envisaged in the draft Budget indicators, in particular a twofold increase of the minimum wage. This decision of the Government is the first step in the fight against poverty, said the Prime Minister.
“Our decision, which we have elaborated and adopted - to raise the minimum wage twice in Ukraine from UAH 1600 to 3200 - is completely honest, real and it’s the decision that will enable primarily each Ukrainian citizen employed get minimum wage at the level of the commodity bundle”, he explained.
“The decision to raise the minimum wage was our common: that of the President, of the coalition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine – the Petro Poroshenko Block and the People’s Front”, said Volodymyr Groysman. The coalition Government has been working for months on this issue and has found the solution how due to legalization and a fair distribution of the Budget to reach the target of UAH 3200.
Moreover, for the first time the Government is to introduce the first wage level in the unified tariff system at the level of UAH 1600.
"We have absolutely real calculations”, said Volodymyr Groysman. “There won’t be any unexpected inflation processes, no switching on machines to print money. This is a real increase in wages."
"Inflation will remain in the forecast framework as we laid it in the draft Budget for 2017", explained the Prime Minister.
Apart from that, from 1 December the minimum pension will grow by 10%. In this context, the Prime Minister noted that the next task for the Government is to find the necessary solutions to update the superannuation system to make it more fair and "to return to the pensioners everything they need " as soon as it corresponds to the economic capabilities of the country.
Speaking about the priorities contained in the Budget for 2017, Volodymyr Groysman noted that there had been preserved the growth of educators ' salaries by 30%, medical workers – by 20%, envisaged nearly UAH 6 billion to purchase medicines for citizens, and UAH 5.5 billion to support farmers. By the time of the voting the Law, the Government intends together with MPs to find a solution and to increase this support up to UAH 10 billion.
The Government also prolongs decentralization, plans the establishment of Energy Efficiency Fund, intends to allocate the twofold resource for major construction of roads and expenditure for security and defense. In particular, the Government supports the decision taken jointly with the Minister of Internal Affairs to increase the salaries for Criminal Investigation Department and investigators of the National Police of Ukraine.
"In fact, the priorities of the Government remain completely unchanged and the main emphasis is placed on the development of the national economy", said Volodymyr Groysman.
The Prime Minister noted that after the Budget adopted the Government’s objective is to start its execution with the support of the Ukrainian Parliament and to ensure economic growth.
The Government optimistically predicts economic growth in 2017 at the level of 3%, informed Volodymyr Groysman. However, it is crucial to ensure "this growth affects real incomes of people," stressed the Head of Government.
"Our principal aim is that people could feel changes in their real lives. People have been looking forward to it for a very long time. The steps we are taking today will lead to the fact that people will start to feel positive changes", promised Volodymyr Groysman.