The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine gave first reading to the draft state budget for 2018 offered by the Government and elaborated within the framework of three-year budget planning that takes into account the recommendations of international financial organizations, and prepared on the expectation of a 2.4% deficit with a forecast inflation rate of 7% and growth economy 3%. A respective resolution was backed by 260 lawmakers.
In addition, the Parliament approved at first reading two other bills on amendments to the Budget Code and to the Tax Code.
Commenting on the progress of the budget process, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman stressed the Government's draft is a budget of economic development and fully meets the interests of decentralization and economic growth.
"We are open to qualitative cooperation", the Head of Government stressed. "We make responsible decisions that allow us to finance the economy and to increase social standards. I want to thank you for the support, we are moving on."
Having considered the draft law, MPs expressed a number of proposals for discussion before the second reading of the draft state budget. Among them, in particular, support for the protection of people in the temporarily occupied territories, in particular in the Crimea, the continuation of the policy of raising social standards, allocation of funds for logistical upgrading of the emergency services, support of technoparks, and also the issue related to provision of assistance to the families of Ukrainian political prisoners.
The draft state budget was submitted by the Cabinet of Ministers in accordance with the requirements of the Budget Code on September 15, and the Parliament did not withdraw in order to refine it. The document envisages a significant increase in funding for security and defense, the introduction of a number of support programs for the real sector, primarily the agrarian sector and the road construction, as well as aimed at increasing social standards by increasing allocations for health and education sectors. As expected, budget revenues will increase by 15% compared to the current year to over UAH 1 trillion solely due to economic growth, rather than an increase in tax burden. A minimum wage growth will be 16% that is up to UAH 3723.
As it was earlier emphasized by the Prime Minister of Ukraine, next year will become successful for Ukraine and the Government's proposed state budget will contribute to this goal.