Azarov’s Cabinet of Ministers increases spending on itself
Despite the crisis and reduction in social benefits, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers has decided to increase funding for its official apparatus and has created new services. Expenditure on the government is increasing together with the country’s debts.
The maximum number of personnel of the Cabinet of Ministers Secretariat has now risen to 720 (from 650 as of November 2012), with the staffing for Prime Minister Azarov’s office increased to 52.
The increase in the number of officials paid for by the taxpayer was passed in a Cabinet of Ministers Resolution from 3 January 2013. published on the Cabinet of Ministers’ website. Three new services have been created for deputy Prime Ministers, as well as a cabinet minister service.
There is as yet no information about the number of members of staff of the newly created Ministry of Income and Duty headed by Oleksandr Klymenko.
Ukrainians will give the Cabinet of Ministers even more money
The document signed by Azarov also states that the Finance Ministry must prepare amendments to the 2013 State Budget increasing funding to pay for officials of the Cabinet of Ministers’ Secretariat based on the new maximum numbers.
Earlier, during the adoption by parliament of the country’s main financial document opposition MPs were critical of the fact that the Cabinet of Ministers had quietly increased spending on itself to 334.5 million UAH, while publically promising to cut spending. The figure became known following publication of the Law on the State Budget for 2013 and was not the same as that in the draft Budget. Last year 294.5 million UAH was allocated in the Budget.
This increase is taking place against a background of economic crisis and an increase in the country’s debt. Interfax Ukraine reports that the State deficit in 2013 will be over 50 billion UAH which is almost a third higher than a year ago. The country’s economy is, meanwhile, on the brink of recession. According to the IMF, in the third quarter of 2012 Ukraine’s GNP shrank by 1.3%, and industrial output by 4.2%. If this trend is confirmed by the results for the fourth quarter, the country will be in recession for the first time since the 2008/2009 financial crisis.