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Politics and human rights

Parliamentarians to feel a pinch or two


The Verkhovna Rada has halved the salaries of those in positions of power. On Tuesday a large majority (374) voted in a Resolution which will until 1 January 2010 reduce the salary of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament, the heads of their secretariats, Ministers and their Deputies, National Deputies, governors and their deputies, and the heads of the National Security and Defence Council.

The newspaper “Delo” calculates that this could save a little over 60 million UAH.  The largest savings will be from the cut in National Deputies monthly earnings from 17.4 thousand UAH to a “mere” 8.7 thousand (and only for the remaining 10 months of this year). This alone will save 40 million UAH. 

Savings on members of the Cabinet of Ministers are much lower, however the number of their deputies means that reductions there will bring in extra revenue. The Head of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, for example, has 10 Deputies.

Not so staggering

In comparison with the state funding which goes on social security and benefits to government officials, including National Deputies, the figure is insignificant. In the last few days a Deputy from the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko [BYuT] said that the government could save 180 million UAH if it removed free flights and telephone calls for Deputies.

“Delo” reports that up to 40 million a year is spent on building, maintaining and servicing State dachas, allocating to those in the higher echelons of power. The State Department of Affairs (this title sounds just as strange in Ukrainian and Russian! – translator), incidentally, refuses to provide information about the number of such dachas and the cost of their maintenance.

The 16 million UAH allocated per year for health facilities – sanatoria, etc, has only now been halved.

Each Deputy also receives 17 thousand UAH a month for assistants and consultants. The money is often not used for this purpose.

It is possible that the Resolution will lead to civil suits since the pensions of former deputies are linked to the salaries of current National Deputies, making up 90% of the normal salary. Payments of pensions are among the protected articles of the State Budget and are protected by the Constitution. Such court cases were seen in 2007.  There are over 800 such pensioned former Deputies, and last year 150 million UAH went on their pensions.

Information taken from an article at www.delo.ua

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