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14.10.2008

This Verkhovna Rada was ineffective and costly

   

Each law of the sixth (present) term of the Verkhovna Rada cost the State budget 10 million UAH. It was three times less during the previous parliamentary term.

During this term National Deputies passed 80 laws. This workload cost the State around 800 million UAH – this being how much was spent on the functioning of the Verkhovna Rada from October 2007 to the present day.  This makes each law 10 million UAH.  The previous Verkhovna Rada existed for just over a year and managed to pass 240 laws, making the cost of each approximately three million UAH. Moreover, the present Deputies are much better provided for than their predecessors.

Each month they have 52 thousand UAH at their disposal. Of this amount, 17.5 thousand is salary, the same amount is “means for carrying out their Deputy duties”, and another 17.5 thousand is provided for their aides and consultants. Deputies of the previous Verkhovna Rada term received a salary of 13 thousand, with 10 thousand allocated for “Deputy duties” and another 10 thousand for their assistants.

It is not only the Deputies of previous terms who have cause to envy present Deputies. According to Deputy from the Lithuanian Seim Rasa Yuzhnyavichen: “My salary as a Deputy comes to 4.5 thousand Liths [9 thousand UAH], I get the same amount again for running my office. I don’t have any other benefits, neither free medical treatment, nor paid holidays. Flats are provided for Deputies not from Vilnius only for their term of office”.

Ukrainian parliamentarians as far as this is concerned have no cause for complaint. They have free medical care, as well as annually receiving up to 35 thousand UAH for sanatorium – resort services. Around 60 million UAH was allocated for the complex of Verkhovna Rada sanatoriums this year.

Non-residents

Deputies from other cities have the right to receive accommodation or compensation. For example, this year 42 Deputies sought flats, while another 8 asked for monetary compensation. In 2008 10 million UAH was allocated for housing compensation. According to Vasyl Kravchuk, Head of the Verkhovna Rada Subcommittee on Material and Technical Provisions, the majority of those seeking this were from the Party of the Regions and the Lytvyn Bloc. There were one or two, he said, from the Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence faction, and none from BYuT [Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko].  In fact as of yet the Deputies have not received either the money or a flat. Mr Kravchuk says that there will not be any meetings of the regulating committee before the snap elections and the Deputies seeking flats will most likely receive nothing.

20 million for parliament being dissolved

However for a parliamentarian there are positive aspects to the dissolution of parliament. For example, according to a norm in the law on the status of a National Deputy, each member of the Verkhovna Rada is entitled to monetary assistance in the event of pre-term termination of his or her mandate. This comes to three months pay (52.5 thousand UAH). This means that leaving the Verkhovna Rada, Deputies could take away 23 million UAH. In fact, member of the Verkhovna Rada Regulating Committee Vasyl Kiselyov reassures people that last year not many Deputies made use of this option.

National Deputies who refrain from taking material assistance are faced with another temptation. The same law offers monthly maintenance of their Deputy salary until they find a job. If the former Deputy has not found another job within a year, the assistance is halved. On Verkhovna Rada money you can get another education.

When the trees were big …

Yearly expenditure on the Verkhovna Rada rises by 20-30%.  In parliament they claim that inflation is to blame, as well as increases in salaries and in tariffs for communal charges. The draft budget for 2009 suggests an increase to a billion UAH, against 860 million UAH this year. 10 years ago this figure was only 50-60 million. Today this figure is not even double the amount – 35.5 million UAH – planned for expenditure on vehicles this year (against 28.64 million in 2007 and 20 million in 2006). 10 million is earmarked for buying new cars.

More than 6 million UAH this year will be spent on major repeats to accommodation of the Verkhovna Rada and services. Putting National Deputies up in Kyiv hotels will cost around 20 million UAH.  Relatively little is spent on food for parliamentarians, the parliamentary canteens in 2008 costing 1.6 million UAH. Organization of official receptions will cost around the same amount. 5.5 million UAH is expected to be spent on visits by 450 National Deputies abroad.

From material posted at   http://delo.ua/news/89376/

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