#Commentary of Marina Zheynova on hot water cut off in Odessa
Once again, the decisions of the Ukrainian authorities in the sphere of housing and communal services amaze. For example, the mayor’s office in Odessa wants to launch a program for 2017-2020, which provides for the cutoff of houses from hot water supply services. They explain it in this way: due to the fact that the tariffs for this service (surprisingly, that only for this one) have become economically unjustified.But when ordinary citizens ask to show them the component of the tariffs and provide a calculated justification for the economic component, then immediately there appear some secret decisions of the National Commission for Regulation in the spheres of energy and utilities, access to which for some reason is closed.
Here’s some statistics. According to calculations of economists, in 2014-2017 gas tariffs for the population of Ukraine were increased by 948.8%, for heating – by 1,133%, for hot water supply – by 559.2%, for electricity – by 321.4%. Naturally, the increase in tariffs for gas led to higher tariffs for hot water, too.
Compared to 2013, the average charges for housing and communal services increased six-fold – to 1,462.5 hryvnia, and the population’s debt for housing and communal services increased by 2.4 times – to 29.4 billion hryvnia. As a result, the level of payment decreased by 32.4% – to 62.6%.
And the main thing is that the incomes of Ukrainian citizens do not correlate with local tariffs for housing and communal services. In total, for housing and utility services, those living in a one-room apartment have to pay 2,500 hryvnia (5,370 rubles) per month, in a two-room apartment – 3,600 hryvnia (7,733 rubles), a three-room apartment – 4,900 hryvnia (10,525 rubles). While the minimum wage in the country is 3,200 hryvnia (6 873 rubles), the average monthly salary in the country is 6,000 hryvnia (12,888 rubles), and the minimum pension is 1,312 hryvnia (2,818 rubles). Not surprisingly, Ukraine has a record number of subsidies recipients – 7.5 million families, which will be allocated only 51 billion hryvnia in 2017. In fact, there are many more of those who need subsidies.
Based on the analysis of the Ukrainian tariff policy, we can conclude that housing and communal services provided to the population of Ukraine are becoming luxury. After the introduction of the tariff for air, the Ukrainian authorities can safely report to foreign owners that the tariff part of the programme for the genocide of their own people has been fulfilled.
And what about us? Let’s have a look not at the capital of our Republic, but, for example, the neighbouring city of Makeyevka. Back in the 90’s in Makeyevka uninterrupted water supply of hot water was canceled. This was due to the dismantling of water supply pipes in many apartments, boiler houses and basements of multi-storey houses. After a while, cold water began to be supplied strictly by the hour: in the morning and in the evening, and sometimes water was absent for weeks. Those were the realities of Ukraine, independent at that time, which supposedly lived beautifully. However, officials, to put it mildly, didn’t care at all about residents of such non-regional centers.
I can proudly say that the local authorities of the city of Makeyevka, unlike their colleagues from Ukraine, were able to solve this problem. And now in Makeyevka, after water was served on weekdays 4:00 hours in the morning and 4:00 in the evening, the water supply is provided without interruption for 17 hours a day, from 5:00 to 22:00 on weekdays (at weekends – from 6:00 to 22:00), as well as in all the cities of our Republic.
Even if we reject the devastating consequences of the civil war, we manage not only to keep tariffs at the pre-war level, but also to carry out running repairs, prepare houses for the heating season and restore everything that had been destroyed by the policy of the Ukrainian government in the sphere of housing and communal services.
Marina Zheynova, the DPR People’s Council deputy