Tax Code passed despite mass protests
After days of mass protests throughout the country, fights and bitter recriminations in parliament, the Tax Code was passed on Thursday evening. Analysts criticize the haste with which measures have been taken without consideration of the likely consequences, including a considerable increase in unemployment.
The BBC Ukrainian Service reports that earlier Prime Minister Azarov had asserted that only those who hadn’t read it could criticize it. After demonstrations gathered many thousands outside the Verkhovna Rada, as well as on the main squares of other cities, Azarov claimed that the protests were testimony to democracy in Ukraine. “We have a free country, therefore those who saw the minuses in the Code came out onto the street and expressed their opposition. The government treated these citizens, their legitimate interests with respect, however, I stress, we are taking the decision in the interests of the overwhelming majority of our society”.
In an interview to Deutsche Welle , Vasyl Yurchyshyn from the authoritative Razumkov Centre, criticized the government for “pushing through” the Tax Code at such speed, without having analyzed the social consequences of major changes for small business, especially the level of unemployment. “No analysis was made of the likely drop in the level of employment. We are talking not only about the trade sector, but the service industry, construction and transport. Nobody assessed what types of work can be provided for those who reject private enterprise. If the state pursues such policy, it should set out such kind of programme for stimulating employment, the programme for retraining people who lose their work or business. I have heard nothing of such programmes.
He believes that a significant increase in unemployment will be only an added strain on public funding. This will mean that the aim of better supplementing the Pension Fund, declared by the government, will not be achieved. He also expects that a fair number of businesspeople will move into the shadow economy. “In a country where the system of tax administration is near the worst in the world, one cannot expect that small businesses will agree to work on “general conditions”, when these are simply too bad.