#Commentary of Marina Zheinova on new unconstitutional legislative initiatives in Ukraine
The joy of Ukrainian pensioners from a slight increase in pensions in October last year was short-lived and gave way to reverse emotions. After reducing the size of subsidies for housing and communal services in March 2018, it became clear that the number of its recipients will be reduced at the expense of some pensioners.
But this was not enough: according to the new bill of the Verkhovna Rada, social inspectors will come to the house and check the financial situation of the recipients of subsidies.
So, according to the proposed bill “On Ensuring State Control for the Period of Providing Social Support”, an auditor will be able to enter the housing with inspections of the living conditions of those who receive or want to receive a subsidy without the consent of the tenants (now even the police cannot permit themselves this), independently initiate a survey of financial and housing conditions of families. The granting of such rights is, to put it mildly, unconstitutional.
In addition, the auditors will be able to obtain data on the presence of bank accounts, on the crossing of the border by the subsidy receiver or members of their family, in the Technical Inventory Bureau – about the unaccounted housing, in the service centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – about the presence of cars. It is unclear how it is combined with the law of Ukraine on the protection of personal data and with the Ukrainian constitution as a whole.
And, of course, the bill involves an increase in the number of auditors and increase of their salaries. Indeed, there should be more of new oprichniks, and one must not forget to indulge them, especially since they will be fed from the people’s pockets.
“Experts believe that there should be 20% less pf those receiving subsidies,” the Ukrainian media writes. The cynicism of this phrase is astonishing. How can I not recall the house of the godfather Pumpkin from a children’s fairy tale that has become so realistic and adult? The only thing that’s left to do is to introduce a tax on air, and Ukrainians will have a life like in Europe.
And a little information from the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine: the average amount of assistance per household in February this year is 36% less compared to February 2017 and is 1,005 hryvnia per month. In total, 43% of families or 6.44 million households receive subsidies for payment of housing and communal services in Ukraine.
“If you count a grocery basket of a Ukrainian, its price at the beginning of the year was 213.4 hryvnia, and for two months it has increased to 216.7 hryvnia. That is, bread and groceries together have risen in price by 1.5%,” said the director of the Ukrainian Association of Trade Network Suppliers Alexey Doroshenko.
Shall we talk about the municipal tariffs in Kiev at the moment? Hot water: 1 cubic meter costs 80,62 hryvnia, that is, if you use 4 cubic meters of water per month, which is a new reduced rate in Ukraine, then you will have to pay 322,48 hryvnia. Heating: 1 square meter – 31,55 hryvnia, that is, if you have a standard Khrushchev’s one-room apartment, then heating costs you 1,041,15 hryvnia. And we have not yet touched upon the price of gas, which the IMF requires to raise to receive the next tranche.
The conclusions are clear. The increase in pensions was a populist step, which in reality led to the fact that people lost the opportunity to receive subsidies for housing and communal services, which, in turn, are becoming more expensive. This means that the public’s debt on municipal payments is growing, which in the future may well enable the state to simply take property out as payment for the debt.
The total illegal control of Ukrainian citizens by the Poroshenko regime is increasing, thereby creating conditions for systemic impoverishment of the population.
Marina Zheinova, the DPR People’s Council deputy