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Ukraine

President on pension indexing: This is our strategy to fight poverty. We have got economic opportunities for this

The Head of State noted that pensioners had been affected the most by the economic blockade, the elements of the hybrid war of Russia against Ukraine.

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President Petro Poroshenko notes that the state has necessary economic conditions for indexing pensions of the most vulnerable categories of pensioners. The Head of State said this during the meeting on indexation of pensions.

“First of all, the efforts of the President, the efforts of the Government, the Prime Minister, and the Verkhovna Rada were aimed at preserving the unity of the country, protecting the Ukrainian land and building the Ukrainian army. Protecting from the challenges that arose from the war and aggression of the Russian Federation. Saving hryvnia, preserving stability of the banking system. Saving the economy in a situation where 20% of the economy is under occupation. And carrying out reforms that have not been carried out for a quarter of a century,” Petro Poroshenko noted.

“Today, we can emphasize that Ukraine can finally rejoice at the first results of the reforms. The economic growth has been taking place for twelve quarters in a row. The economic growth in 2018 equalled 3.4%. Inflation and budget deficit was reduced, the gold and currency reserves were replenished,” he added.

“This means that today the economy is stabilized. And all conditions are created, including economic ones, so that besides solving an exceptionally challenging and priority task of combating the Russian aggressor and building the army, we can pass on to the second important task – fighting against poverty,” the President stressed.

The Head of State noted that pensioners had been affected the most by the economic blockade, the elements of the hybrid war of Russia against Ukraine.

“The Prime Minister, people’s deputies from the coalition and I constantly meet with people and we know that today it is very difficult for pensioners to make ends meet. They value each hryvnia of pension thinking how to survive until the next payment. Therefore, there is no more important task for us than to find the solution for these people,” the President said.

According to him, in cooperation with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, the Government and the Verkhovna Rada, steps have been developed providing the first results in the fight against poverty.

The President recalled the decision to monetize the subsidies. He thanked the Prime Minister and the Government for their tremendous work in defining the mechanism for monetization, determining the payout logistics.

Petro Poroshenko stressed that the recipients of subsidies in addition to pensions will now receive the money for subsidies. “And a warm February, we hope a warm March as well, will enable to leave the money from energy saving in the pocket of a pensioner. Everyone should feel the economic growth on their own wallets. We must fulfill the paternalistic, social function of the state,” he said.

“Today, we present a second position, but it was planned in advance. Back in 2018, when we were reforming the pension system, it was clearly stated that pensions will be indexed starting from March 1,” he said, adding that for military pensioners this increase had already taken place.

He stresses that the indexation will be held permanently, since the state has a resource.

Petro Poroshenko noted that the issue of those categories of citizens who have a large work experience and received high wages was resolved. “But today we have to find the answer for those who have a minimum pension, as the indexing will be less for them,” he said.

The Head of State reminded that the Government and the Verkhovna Rada had resolved the issue of customs clearance of the so-called “eurobliakhs”. “As a result almost 13.6 billion were received through the mechanism of preferential customs clearance,” he said.

According to the President, immediately after the expiration of the preferential customs clearance, a meeting was convened in order to ensure payment of this money to pensioners.

He informed that indexing would take place for those who received the lowest pension at the minimum level or below the minimum.

The Head of State noted that political opponents called such actions a political bribe. At the same time, he stressed: “Our opponents say it is bribery. Yes – bribery. For the next 5 years, as part of our fight against poverty, we will bribe a pensioner, increasing pensions; a working class, increasing wages; large families, increasing assistance to them. This is our strategy to combat poverty. Not with empty promises, but with a huge work done”.

“We now have to unite, all of us, in order to overcome poverty in our country. Economic opportunities for this were created by the President, the Prime Minister, the Government and the Verkhovna Rada,” he said.

“The money that will now be paid for people who receive the lowest pension is already in the Pension Fund’s account,” he said.

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