On March 16, the candidate for the post of President from the OPPOSITION BLOC, Oleksandr Vilkul, met with the labor collective of the Uman Greenhouse Complex.
“In our country, potatoes, eggs and other foods are more expensive than in Europe, and the wages are beggarly. It is a crime. We will give agricultural producers the state support programs like in Europe, soft loans, as well as reduce taxation. We will support the infrastructure of the village, because the village lives when there is gas, water, a doctor and a teacher. With our black soils, proper government management, Ukrainian agricultural enterprises will become the locomotive of economic growth,” Oleksandr Vilkul said.
The opposition leader stressed that today a domestic agricultural producer faces many problems. They are caused, first of all, by a decrease in the level of support from the state, which has been observed since 2014. In particular, we are talking about the abolition of the special regime for VAT (2017), as a result, for two years, agricultural enterprises have lost about UAH 50 billion of working capital.
The growth of taxes, interest rates and high tariffs for energy reduce the competitiveness of Ukrainian products, and most importantly, increase the price of food in Ukraine. In addition, the position of domestic farmers is adversely affected by restrictions on the export of Ukrainian agricultural products to EU countries. Due to the small size of quotas, duty-free supplies are exhausted at the beginning of the year, and additional payments make Ukrainian goods noncompetitive.
According to the oppositionist, over the past 5 years, food prices have increased 4-5 times (the price level in January 2013 and the price level in December 2018 –ed.). Socially significant products are becoming luxury, people are forced to deny themselves the essentials. At the same time, the average salary in Ukraine in dollar terms decreased ($ 452 in December 2013 versus $ 391 in December 2018). Because of this, many Ukrainians, especially pensioners, are not only below the poverty line, but also on the verge of starvation.
“Starving people in the country, which accounts for 10% of the world’s black soil reserves, is a verdict to politicians who have driven Ukraine into poverty.” Food expenses for the Ukrainian family should not exceed 25% of the family income,” Oleksandr Vilkul said.
Since 2017, the state has not regulated high markups of trade networks. Therefore, for example, the purchase price of milk is UAH 9 per liter, and it is sold in stores more than UAH 20. In Europe, the payback period for supermarkets is 10 years, and the average mark-up on products is 9-12%.
Oleksandr Vilkul said that in his election program “Peace and Development: Four Steps to Success”, domestic agricultural producers are guaranteed comprehensive state support, in particular, the return of VAT benefits. The agrarian and industrial complex will be reoriented on processing and export of finished goods, rather than raw materials, as today. For this, the European “Green Basket” model will be introduced in Ukraine. It includes government compensation of 50% of the value of fixed assets (industrial buildings, equipment, vehicles, etc.), preferential interest on loans and the creation of a developed infrastructure in villages.