Minister of Social Policy Andrii Reva dispelled manipulative comparisons of the planned resources in the State Budgets of 2018 and 2019 to cover subsidies payment.
According to the official, the amount planned in the State Budget of Ukraine for the payment of subsidies to compensate for housing and communal services bills contained certain share to reimburse for the debts of previous periods, and therefore the comparison with the analogous article of expenditures for the next year in absolute terms is considered inappropriate.
"The sum worth UAH 71 billion was budgeted in 2018 keeping straight the debts for previous periods. This year we repay all the debts for past periods, and for the next, according to our calculations, there will be necessary the amount less by UAH 16 billion as compared to the previous year", said Andrii Reva.
The Minister also informed that the number of beneficiaries will remain almost the same.
"The size of the subsidies and the quantity of beneficiaries are influenced by two factors: the size of tariffs which leads an increase in the size of subsidies and the number of recipients, and the incomes of people that when growing entail a reduction in the amount of the subsidy and, as a result, a reduction in the quantity of beneficiaries. In 2017, pensions soared by an average of 37% and this increase will affect the allocation of subsidies for the next heating season. As for wages, they are taken into account when assigning winter subsidies for the first half of 2018 - according to the State Statistics Service, the improvement of wages in Ukraine in the first half of 2018 amounted to 25%. Thus, tariffs have risen by 23.5%, and social standards for wage and pension calculations are increasing by about the same amount. Hence, we anticipate wage and pension growth will enable us to count on the fact that the amount of beneficiaries next year will be the equal to the amount in 2018", explained the Minister of Social Policy.
Meanwhile, he noted that the system of subsidies appears a temporary measure to help people undergo a stage of tariff formation reform in the communal sphere, in a situation when people have poor returns.
"The Government's strategic goal is rather to raise wages and pensions, than to preserve the system of subsidies, to guarantee that each family is solvent to pay for housing and communal services. The subsidy system is a temporary support to facilitate people pay for new tariffs during the transition period. After all, the problem is not in tariffs, but the problem is that people are poor, and therefore the Government's mission is to combat poverty", summed up the Minister of Social Policy.