Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman, at a Government meeting on Wednesday, presented the core objectives included in the State Budget for 2017 that had been passed earlier this day by the Parliament.
"The focus of this Budget is a person," said the Prime Minister.
The Government adopted a decision to increase the minimum wage twofold from 1 January in Ukraine - up to UAH 3200. "It was a bold, but unprecedented decision in the history of the country's independence, when the minimum wage doubles", he said.
2017 will see a growth of average wages of healthcare employees. Wages of health workers will increase by over a third in 2017 and for various categories will amount from UAH 3960 up to a maximum figure – UAH 8475.
Moreover, a resource for centralized purchase of medicines has been raised by UAH 2 billion – amounting to UAH 5.9 billion.
In general, financing of the healthcare system has been increased by almost UAH 19 billion.
Formation of wage for Ukrainian teachers has changed - it was raised by two tariff categories.
The first tariff category has been also changed from UAH 1335 to UAH 1600.
The average salary of pedagogical staff of secondary schools will increase by almost 50%. Wages will grow on average from UAH 1672 to 2140 as compared to wages in 2016. From the first day this issue was a priority for the Government, said Volodymyr Groysman.
Approaches to the payment of academic and social scholarships to students also underwent change. In general, the Government has increased funding for scholarships by UAH 576 million.
Volodymyr Groysman noted that the scholarship should encourage success in education, to serve as an additional motivation to obtain high quality education and be competitive.
In 2015, when fiscal decentralization was launched, local budgets grew by 52%. This year local budgets will grow by another 24%.
Presently, local budgets possess tremendous resources, said Volodymyr Groysman.
In this regard, he stressed the need for effective use of these funds, for investing these in the quality of life of Ukrainian citizens. Instead, in many towns leaders keep the money in deposit accounts. "It is an irresponsible position," announced the Head of Government.
"It is crucial to create a system in which money should work to satisfy needs of Ukrainian citizens. Therefore, in the framework of financial decentralization we musts provide not just revenues, but commitments of local communities to act in the interests of their citizens”, emphasized the Prime Minister. “It is the philosophy placed by us as a basis of Budget for 2017".
In this regard, in particular, the budget envisages for a change in approaches to financing of education and healthcare, as well as the devolution of authority to ensure maintenance of institutions in the aforesaid areas, thereby stimulating local executive bodies to efficient energy use.
To secure here delegated powers and protection of communities there has been planned an additional subsidy from the State Budget worth UAH 14.9 billion. The Head of Government added each community would get necessary support.
Another novelty is introduction of direct interbudget transfers for the consolidated territorial communities that are capable of providing high quality services to the citizens.
Referring to additional support tools, the Prime Minister noted that the Government had accumulated UAH 9 billion in the Budget, which exceeds 2.2 times the relevant funding in 2016 for support of regional development.
Volodymyr Groysman refuted rumors that the central government collects the excise tax on oil products from local budgets. The Government considers that local excise tax should grow and expects, due to the change in the system of tax administration throughout the country, an increase in the excise tax for local budgets by over UAH 2 billion, he said.
“Consolidation in the redistribution formula will ensure an increase in revenues of local budgets”, explained the Prime Minister. “Revenues are planned no less than the fact of 2016. And we hope that the change in the administration system will enable growth in local budgets".
For the large-scale construction of roads there has been planned in total over UAH 35 billion.
To ensure start of the road repair activities with beginning of the season, the Government will focus on three tasks: determining a strategy of development of road network, ensuring efficient use of resources and high quality of road repair activities.
"There are three objectives: to determine a strategy of road network development instead of just repairing or building a road to nowhere. We must build roads for people to benefit that are in demand in the country and that will emphasize our logistics capabilities and positively influence the development of the national economy. Therefore, we must define a clear strategy what and where we build. The second is the price. It should be competitive, the most efficient use of funds, it should be honest. Here question No. 1 is resource efficiency. And the third position is quality", told Volodymyr Groysman.
For 2017, in particular it has been intended establishment of an Energy Efficiency Fund.
The planned expenses of the State budget amount to UAH 800 million, while funds from international donors are expected at the level of UAH 3 billion UAH (up to € 100 million).
Support for AIC
A sum worth UAH 6.5 billion has been envisaged to support agricultural producers, including to support agricultural engineering.
"Our goal is to maintain investment in Ukraine, to produce a high-quality competitive product in Ukraine, instead of being a supplier of raw materials. We must sow, harvest, process, pay people wages and then sell. Hence, we will have jobs for people, wages, foreign exchange earnings in the country exceeding those we have today," said Volodymyr Groysman.
The total budget for National Public Television and Radio Broadcassting Company of Ukraine is planned to amount UAH 1.2 billion, said the Prime Minister.
Spending on this sector has been raised and it is a proof culture is considered one of the topmost directions to the Government.
Financing of diplomatic missions in 2017
Expenditure on the diplomatic service in 2017 has been increased by UAH 1 billion – from being UAH 3 billion in 2016 up to UAH 4 billion in 2017.
"We have fulfilled our promises to the Ukrainian diplomacy," stressed Volodymyr Groysman.
The Prime Minister emphasized the Government's openness and encouraged social activists and experts to track where "each budgetary hryvnia" is spent, thereby contributing to improving of efficiency of use of budgetary resource at any level.
"Help us to enhance our transparency," urged Volodymyr Groysman.