President urges cabinet to raise minimum wage
Ukrainians have to spend more after utility prices had been hiked
Victor Yushchenko expects the government to propose a bill to raise the minimum wage and pension, Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Bondar said at a briefing on Wednesday, according to the President`s press-office.
He said every Ukrainian family spent more to pay the bills after utility prices had been hiked, describing the situation as threatening.
“This tendency is threatening. It happened because the President’s budget proposals were ignored. Last December, Victor Yushchenko stressed the need to find compensators in the budget,” he said.
Mr. Bondar reminded reporters that the Verkhovna Rada had approved a resolution to revise the minimum wage and pension in 2007. He also commented on Finance Minister Mykola Azarov’s recent remarks on the economic situation in Ukraine.
“We see the finance minister’s optimistic statements about the industrial growth of 15% and it makes us think the government has mechanisms and sources to fulfill the parliamentary resolution and propose a bill to raise social benefits this March,” he said.
He said the President was ready to compromise, “The Head of State is now determined to compromise with the government and resolve the issue by passing changes to the central budget and laws on local budgets.”
Mr. Bondar added that the President was worried about growing salary debts.
“Unfortunately, changes to the Law on State Purchases have resulted in delays in budget payments,” he said, asking the government and governors to pay salaries on time and to prevent artificial bankruptcies of state-controlled companies. “We reiterate the need … to ensure that salaries are paid regularly and on time, especially in the budget sector.”