Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Cabinet of Minister of Ukraine in a characteristic manner reported about the completion of the second round of the so-called “pension reform”, which is taking place in the country under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to official information, already soon hundreds of thousands of elderly Ukrainians will receive an “essential increase” to their pension. On the other hand, it will deny social assistance to, at minimum, two million pensioners. The situation was studied by the correspondent of the Federal News Agency.
The 70-year-old inhabitant of the Sumy region Natalya Ivanovna with horror thinks about the date October 1st, 2017. On this day, as the Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman stated, the next part of the “essentially new changes to the system of pensions” starts. In characterizing innovations, representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers were brief: for those who at the time of retirement earned no less than 4000 hryvnias (150 dollars), the State will add 900 more. Those who, like Natalya Ivanovna, in the middle of the 2000’s received only 1900 hryvnias, will become the owners of fifty units in local currency.
“The authorities mock ordinary people even after they became old and are not necessary for anybody,” said the pensioner, who was refused a subsidy for the payment of utilities because of debt on receipts for heating. “I have a choice: either to accept starvation, or to go to a church porch”.
By the way, the day before the head of the Ukrainian ministry of social development Andrey Reva in quite an unusual form passed an opinion on the “appetite” of local pensioners.
“The entire problem is that Ukrainians eat too much, people spend more than 50% of their income on food,” he stated, in particular. “If to moderate their requirements, it is possible to live on the minimum pension welfare”.
And he later added a phrase that literally shocked not only the present pensioners.
“Some of our fellow citizens don’t receive pensions at all. It is because they don’t have a 15-year working period,” said the minister. “Already soon the number of persons in such category will start growing exponentially”.
This opinion was shared by the research associate of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Vsevolod Stepanyuk.
“Already after some time the effect of the Ukrainian pension reform – people who don’t receive a pension in Ukraine – will be millions,” said the analyst in an interview to journalists in Kiev. “The State plans to lift the limits of the aforementioned working experience period every year, and it isn’t excluded that every fifth pensioner will live long enough for the payments”.
The expert reminded that in the European Union, where Ukraine now so aspires to be, the “insurance retirement period” is only 5 years.
“Kiev introduces the extremely unpopular innovations to satisfy the IMF,” said the FAN lawyer Igor Kucherenko in comment to the correspondent. “It’s not a secret for anybody that Ukrainian people of a respectable age are the most needy in Europe. Now the authorities in power try to turn them into beggars definitively. Or — potentially deceased: the average life expectancy in Ukraine hardly exceeds 65 years. About 60% of Ukrainians don’t live ‘up to old gray hairs’. But, this fact, seemingly, doesn’t interest Kiev”.
As was told to the correspondent of FAN, a number of independent organizations of pensioners and volunteers plan to picket the building of the government of Ukraine with the demand to cancel the coming into effect of the next stage of reforms.
“I am not sure that our actions will lead to any positive result,” predicts one of the activists of the initiative group, the former serviceman Valery Boychenko. “But there is no doubt that we draw the attention of the public, including internationally.”
The reason for doubts is simple — “inactive” pensioners, such as Natalya Ivanovna. Today she openly states that she may not live up to the fatal date of October 1st. And she doesn’t want to and can’t live by begging from the team of Groisman.
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