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16.04.2009

How not to pay mothers’ benefits – from the horse’s (State’s) mouth

   

What bureaucrats will only come up with so as to not pay mothers the benefit envisaged by law! The latest initiative of some regional administrations is absolutely staggering. The Lviv Regional State Administration, for example, recently held a meeting on the situation with enforcement of court rulings relating to compliance with the Laws “On State assistance for families with children” and “On the status of war veterans, guarantees for their social protection”.

One of the results of the meeting was an instruction to the heads of Departments of Employment and Social Policy on the purported need to apply to the court for deferment of enforcement of all court rulings already handed down concerning the recalculation of social payments to mothers. What is more, standard objections against the law suits and appeals were sent out as well for cases which were still being examined in court. The main argument given in these cribs was that the budget for the specific years did not provide funding for the said social assistance.

Now this would not be so bad after all, since nobody is denying that state bodies can decide how to act as they see fit, were it not for one important detail. The meeting was attended by a judge of the Lviv Regional Appeal Court, a judge who is acting head of the Lviv Administrative Court of Appeal, a Prosecutor, a representative of the Central Department of Justice and others.

It’s obviously tempting for the State to excuse their failure to make social payments stipulated in law to say that they don’t have the money, however this is a mockery of people who found the courage to stand up for their rights in court. Furthermore the European Court of Human Rights has on a number of occasions stressed that the authorities cannot refer to lack of financing as grounds for not fulfilling their obligations. One can confidently predict that applications will be lodged with the Court in Strasbourg over the extraordinary behaviour of the Ukrainian authorities.

Adapted from an article by Maxim Shchebatyuk, UHHRU

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