Lyudmila Cherenko : Why the poor people always pay more?

Thu, 12.03.2015 14:28

Kiev/ Ukraine in Arabic/ In the labour market to find a job is becoming more difficult even in the cities, not to mention villages. War in the East also "eats" every day the lion's share of the state budget that could be spent on development of economic, business and social programs. In addition, we are all waiting for another "surprise" - the growth of tariffs for gas and electricity.

Will our family budgets to withstand such tests? My thoughts on this matter UKRINFORM asked to share the head of the Department of the study of living standards of the Institute of demography and social studies of NAS of Ukraine Lyudmila Cherenko.

- Lyudmila, in your opinion, will overpower an average Ukrainian new energy tariffs?

The future growth of tariffs for gas and electricity is a very heavy burden not only for the poor. Now he lay already on the shoulders and most families in the country. Given the General low standard of living, there is a further narrowing of affordability families and reducing the so-called "conditionally free" funds at their disposal.

And before significant share of the family States the average family (54.4% in the first half of 2014) went on a diet. And for the last time, when reduced and nominal income (for the last two months, the average wage has decreased about 500 USD), about some savings or buying expensive things can not be and speeches. People will skimp on the Essentials. The purchase of nonfood goods and certain services have for some time just to delay. Main estimates most families will consist of mandatory spending on food, housing, education of children and drugs.

However, must sincerely admit that a rate increase is not the whim of the authorities, but a real necessity. This is how the whole world. The whole world pays a lot for resources.

- But there must be some fuses to protect people with low incomes from the market value of resources.

In Ukraine there is such a program is the housing allowance. However, statistics show that citizens are not too willing to go for them.

The government has already announced changes in the order received. Actually, this is done to ensure that people used their right to address the support from the state while increasing housing and utility tariffs. In the Ministry of social policy are configured to minimize all the obstacles that until recently stood in the way of receiving subsidies. By the way, this process began on 1 October last year, and now he must become more transparent and simple.

 When compared with previous years, even by the end of 2014 the number of beneficiaries has increased, but not as much as hoped in the government. It was expected that in November-December, the number of such families will not increase significantly. In fact, at the end of the year potential right to housing subsidy with had about 30 percent of households. However this massive growth has not occurred.

Why? It's so unlogical!

 The survey, which was conducted with the assistance of the United Nations development Programme in Ukraine within the project "Support for social sector reform in Ukraine" with the aim to investigate the cause of netwerken poor for subsidies, has exposed a lot of serious reasons. The first is the lack of awareness about the possibility of state regarding the social protection of Ukrainians. It with one hand. And on the other, it was found that even those citizens who knew about this program more often reservations that they or fail, and they will only be wasting time in queues, or subsequently thereto, will be applied to any other restrictive measures.

In addition, experts have identified two categories of people. Some were not psychologically inclined to seek public support, and to the latter intend to solve their own problems. That is to say an active group of the population. And there are other extremely passive. When they were asked: "What are you going to do next in terms of growth rates?" they answered: "to Pay will not be able, but also to apply for a subsidy will not".

So the conclusion here can be only one. The bodies of social protection should not sit and wait, when they will begin to contact people. They should go to the families and to promote the subsidy Program. Vulnerable contingent by nature passive. It so happened that among the vulnerable and the poor, a much higher proportion of passive than among successful people. Here the state must exercise utmost interest. Then the number of recipients of subsidies will increase significantly.

The experience of different countries shows that in attracting the poor to support programs play a key role actually employees of local departments of social protection. Where they have not taken any expectant attitude is there and things are moving faster. And if they will work on the principle of "You here a lot, and I'm one", then the result will not be.

Today the situation is that the state programme of targeted support should reach all those in need. People should not fall into despair, she must feel that the state will support and help at least in the costs of housing.

- Is it fair to deny subsidies to families where there are unemployed people of working age?

Today this question has no right to exist. Now people who want to work, quite suddenly found myself thrown out of the labour market. Over the past two years, the crisis reached the major cities. Even in Kiev this year will be a significant increase of the unemployed. Without a job are people who traditionally were confident in their competitiveness. So tell them, "look for work", when it really is absent, and to deprive them of the right to state assistance - at least not humane.

- Your observations contingent subsidy recipients will change significantly?

In fact he has already begun to change. Before him the lion's share was lonely pensioners. Meanwhile, at the end of last year began to appear and families with young children. But generalizing early. Let's wait for may when work a new Procedure for obtaining subsidies.

It is important that innovations will be more focused on really poor. However, as for me, there are also disadvantages. Enshrined in regulations, unfortunately, inflexible. They should be differentiated according to different criteria, composition of household, area of residence, type of room, etc., Because for some limits on the consumption of gas, light or heat is large, and therefore, these funds will be deposited in the service providers, and others low, and people will not invest in them.

As, according to official statistics, has changed the standard of living of Ukrainians?

- Now you can only talk about estimates, because the official information, the state will announce the results of the previous year only in the summer.

 Last spring, we predicted several scenarios of the dynamics of poverty and living at the end of 2014. Expected a very hard fall. Experts do not exclude, that can be a very serious economic collapse, and we fall immerse yourself in the situation of the 90-ies. And was one of the most optimistic options. Fortunately, we survived the fall without much turmoil.

The real incomes of the population, of course, declined by 20 percent. On average, one family for purchasing power lost one fifth of their income. And yet, in that situation it was not the worst scenario.

 Unfortunately, the beginning of 2015 has become much worse, although previously it was thought that if we do fall, the current year will testify about a specific output from a very difficult situation. In other words, we would have had the opportunity to see some stabilization. But this scenario was delayed. Most likely, he moved from autumn to spring.

In the first half of the 14th, the level of poverty according to the criterion of the subsistence minimum was 20 percent. That is, every fifth Ukrainian family consumed below the subsistence minimum. Today we tend to estimate the poverty rate of 30 percent. That is, in the poor category was every third Ukrainian family.

- What can we expect?

- With regard to further changes, then everything will depend on many factors. First and foremost, on whether to stop the decline of the economy. The experience of the recent financial crisis has shown that the world is becoming so short that any changes in the economy affect the standard of living and poverty with a very short lag. If in the 90-ies it is enough to have at least a year or two, but now it can be six months or even less. That is, if the summer is the fall of the economy will at least stop, then maybe at the end of the year is noticeable and positive changes in life.

In society there is always discussion about the recently enacted by the Verkhovna Rada of laws, including pension provision. In Your opinion, it was really DiNapoli way?

Laws, of course, unpopular. And their criticism is understandable. Now working pensioners will be removed 15 percent of the pension. Hopefully only temporary introduction.

However, whether the government has sufficient space to maneuver? To oppose this could be only two alternative steps. Or store all state obligations, and then you can either print money or to legalize delay in payments. Both the first and the second scenario we have already passed in the 90s. If the government wants to avoid such developments, then it is necessary to reduce liabilities. And it's always unfair, unpopular and, unfortunately, it is most vulnerable.

Experts have suggested that the burden should shift to the rich, expanding or increasing their scale of taxation.

Here, too, everything is not easy. We can make the perfect scale of taxation, but there will be shadow income, until our budget will be filled at the expense of low-paid teachers, doctors and others who has absolute "light" salary. We know, the richer we are, the large proportion of its income is in the shade. Top management and successful entrepreneurs will be encouraged to invest part of their earnings to display in the "gray" or "dark" area, so rich is extremely difficult to extract taxes.

A progressive tax like the one that is in European countries, with the current realities in Ukraine simply does not work. Therefore, first of all it is necessary to involve all the mechanisms for illumination income people. If the priority of the government will be a lighting of income, all tasks must obey this purpose. Unfortunately, today is not felt strong intention, including social policy, which would give hope that in the near future there will be something shifted.

Talked Natalia Andrusenko, Kiev


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