The problem of wage arrears to the Ukrainians is being aggravated. The deputy Chair of the Opposition Bloc faction, Serhiy Lovochkin, reported that for the first three quarters of 2018, employers’ debts to the Ukrainians immediately increased by 22%, having reached another anti record of UAH 2,889 billion on October 1 The politician is convinced that the current authorities do not take appropriate measures to change the situation.
“Debts as of October 1 reached a level that has not been observed for 17 years, and the trend does not change. Only in September, wage arrears increased immediately by UAH 177 million or 6.5%. For the first nine months of 2018, there was an increase by 22%. Despite repeated promises, the authorities do not take measures that would improve the situation. As a result, without receiving even low Ukrainian salaries, our citizens are forced to look for work abroad,” Serhiy Lovochkin said.
“If in the near future trends are not reversed, the country will face the fact that the outflow of the working-age population will become catastrophic. In this case, Ukraine will find itself in a constant economic and demographic crisis, which can no longer be overcome,” the politician stated.
Serhiy Lovochkin recalled that he had twice made requests to the government with a demand to take measures to reduce debt. On the initiative of the Opposition Bloc, there was passed a law on the allocation of funds to support the coal industry, much of which was supposed to go to pay salaries to the miners.
“Despite repeated promises by the authorities, wage arrears in the mining industry only in September increased by 18.4% or UAH 95 million. Now they are already more than 600 million,” he said.
At the same time, according to the MP, wage arrears are growing not only in industry, but also in the public sector. For the first 9 months of 2018, the indebtedness in the field of education increased by 2.5 times, health care and the provision of social assistance – almost 3 times.
Also, Serhiy Lovochkin reported that out of 25 regions of the country, wage arrears in 2018 increased by 22. In the Transcarpathian region – more than 3 times, Ternopil region – 3.7 times, Kherson region – 2.9 times, Khmelnitsky region – 2.7 times, Sumy region – 2.1 times, Ivano-Frankivsk region – 2 times, Zaporizhzhia region – 1.9 times, Chernihiv region and Kyiv – 1.8 times.
“In general, more than two-thirds of all wage arrears are concentrated in eight industrial regionsof the South-East – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, Kherson and Mykolaiv. In most of them, debts exceed UAH 100 million. This is a consequence of the deep crisis in the industry and the growing trends of deindustrialization, which is actually state policy under the current authorities,” he stated.
The politician cited data that, in the industry as a whole, wage arrears have increased by 23% or UAH 425 million since the beginning of the year, having reached UAH 2 billion 269 million as of October 1. In addition to the coal industry, the problem of rapidly increasing debt is most acute in the food industry (since the beginning of the year, debt grew by 26.8%), the textile industry (+ 49.7% since the beginning of the year), engineering, which owed workers almost UAH 0.8 billion (+ 37% from the beginning of the year), in the electricity and gas supplies (+ 55.2%).
“The authorities are not able to cope with the problem of growing wage arrears. Therefore, the issue of changing the political and economic course today is a matter that affects every citizen of Ukraine. Only the policy of ending the war and restoring the economy will allow increasing the salaries of the Ukrainians, not to mention paying them on time,” Serhiy Lovochkin concluded.Follow @serhiylovochkin