The weekly “Hour of Questions to the Government” in the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada risked passing traditionally sluggishly and inconspicuously, however, the half-awake ministers in the lodge of the Cabinet of Ministers were suddenly “cheered up” by Oleksandr Dolzhenkov. The oppositionist asked Volodymyr Groysman on the excess of gas prices for the population in relation to industrial tariffs.
“This is an unprecedented situation, because the state has always set cheaper tariffs for the population,” the MP was indignant and asked how the government would correct the situation.
The response to the reasonable question of Dolzhenkov shocked the opposition. It turned out that no one intends to correct anything, because the Cabinet of Ministers is convinced of the fairness of the current tariffs. Secondly, the government continues to insist that the population does not pay more than industrial consumers do. Nevertheless, in fact, the tariff for the population exceeded the industrial one.
“Five years of the rule of criminal authorities ended with the fact that gas prices for the population have become higher than for industry. Since April, Ukrainians have been paying more than UAH 8,500 per thousand cubic meters of gas. At the same time, the tariffs for enterprises are slightly higher than UAH 5,600. Do not forget that from May 1, 2019, Ukrainians will have the new increase to UAH 9,700, and from January 1, 2020, tariffs will reach UAH 12,000,” Dolzhenkov said.
According to him, transcendental tariffs have led to an increase in the arrears of population payments for housing and communal services. “If in 2018, the debt for consumed utility services amounted to 32 billion, in 2019 it is already 55 billion. That is, for the year the debt grew by more than UAH 22 billion. This is the answer to the “fair” tariff”, the MP noted.
At the same time, by raising tariffs, the government forgets that the level of people’s incomes remains at the same level, Dolzhenkov believes. According to him, the initiative to monetize subsidies cannot be called fair. “The policy of the Cabinet of Ministers should not be aimed at expanding the list of citizens receiving benefits, compensation and subsidies. This policy is aimed at narrowing the list of grantees. As a result – an increase in debt for housing and communal services, a reduction in monetized subsidies, a gradual increase in gas tariffs for the population,” the parliamentarian emphasized.
According to Dolzhenkov, the OPPOSITION BLOC insists on the revision of the current gas tariffs for the population. “It is necessary to return cross-subsidization and introduce preferential gas prices for the population, impose a moratorium on the use of penalties and write off the debt on tariffs for the population. The IMF may not like these measures, but the OPPOSITION BLOC insists that Ukraine does not succumb to the “intrigues” of the IMF and does not follow its policy. We must look for internal resources to help the population in this difficult moment,” the MP said.
According to Dolzhenkov, if the state cannot provide high incomes for the population, it is obliged to provide social mechanisms to compensate for high tariffs. “We will do everything to stop the tariff genocide, which the current Ukrainian authorities have arranged,” Oleksandr Dolzhenkov summarized.