Ukrainian Expert Aleksandr Okhrimenko: Kiev Exploits Housing Benefits to Embezzle State Funds

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Subsidies for housing and communal services in Ukraine were invented as a way of stealing money from the state budget. This was reported by the Ukrainian expert Aleksandr Okhrimenko on the air of the “NewsOne” TV channel.

The first stage of the monetisation of social benefits for housing and communal services started in Ukraine on January 1st. The Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman tasked the Ministry of Social Policy with providing subsidies because of the increase in gas prices – about 7 million households need such help. Nearly $2 billion for supporting the population were earmarked in the state budget for 2019. Earlier the Cabinet of Ministers said that before the end of the year in Ukraine the monetisation of social benefits and subsidies will be fully completed. It is planned that the process will take place in three stages.

“Subsidies do not work. Subsidies were invented as a way of stealing money from the state budget. They are not for the population”

said Okhrimenko

He believes that the quality of housing and communal services is sharply decreasing. “What is now happening in Ukraine can lead to the fact that our debts for utilities after 2019 will reach 100 billion (hryvnia, or $3.6 billion). Then there will be a full collapse, because 100 billion cannot be written off or restructured”

noted the economist

On October 19th 2018 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine made the decision to increase gas prices for the population from November 1st by 23.5% within the framework of the requirements of agreements with the IMF. The new price is 8,500 hryvnia ($305) per 1,000 cubic meters. The government also reported that the IMF demanded a 60% increase in gas prices, however it was succeeded to agree on a compromise option for further crediting.

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