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02.08.2013

Even milked down attempt to reign in MPs’ appetites shelved

   

This week the Cabinet of Ministers postponed examination of a draft law on restricting perks for MPs drawn up by the Ministry of Social Policy.  The authors of the bill are proposing to significantly decrease spending on parliamentarians’ upkeep but in the final version they rejected the idea of fining them for missing sessions of the Verkhovna Rada.

The Minister of Social Policy Natalya Korolevska informed journalists that the bill had been removed from the agenda although she said it had gone through all the agreement stages in profile ministries and departments, been revised and then passed to the Cabinet of Ministers. 

The government bill proposes radical reduction of expenses not directly linked with MPs legislative activities, as well as the annulment of most of the social guarantees for former MPs. It would remove financial compensation for MPs’ flats, replacing this with temporary provision of official accommodation. It also proposes taking away the right to free holiday vouchers; insurance, and others.  The authors propose doing away with the extremely generous situation whereby former MPs who are unemployed received around 14 thousand UAH (far more than most people earn) per month for the first year; then 7 thousand per month until they reach retirement age and other perks.

The authors propose removing the right to free travel on public transport (minimal cost and largely theoretical), but have changed their mind about fining MPs for missing parliamentary sessions or committee meetings without good reason. That might not have hurt many MPs who have amassed millions, but could have brought in some revenue.  Despite lots of words about planned adherence to the constitutional requirement that MPs vote in person, a large number regularly do not (with party colleagues “voting” for them, as in the picture above.

From information at Kommersant Ukraine

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