MP from the Opposition bloc Serhiy Lovochkin requires the Cabinet of Ministers to strengthen the social protection of persons with disabilities. He sent the relevant deputy request to the Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
“I demand to take urgent measures aimed at strengthening the social protection of persons with disabilities. On the results of the undertaken measures, please inform me in the statutory period,” Serhiy Lovochkin said.
The MP recalled that, in accordance with Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in December 2009, our state has undertaken to ensure the right of persons with disabilities to a sufficient standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate nutrition, clothing and housing.
“However, over the past four years, the standard of living of people with disabilities in Ukraine has significantly decreased, while prices for all goods have increased by 2.3 times, and utility tariffs – by 4.4 times,” the politician said.
According to him, in 2013, the average size of the disability of a monthly pension to pensioners who are registered in the Pension Fund was UAH 1359 or more than $ 170. In 2017, people with disabilities receive UAH 1706 or $ 64, which is almost 2.7 times less than in 2013.
In addition, the real amount of state social assistance allocated to people with disabilities who have no work experience, in particular disabled from childhood, has decreased. The living wage for disabled people, which is the basis for calculating the size of the mentioned social assistance, decreased from $ 119 in 2013 (UAH 949) to $ 52 (UAH 1 373) in the current year, i.e 2.3 times.
“At the same time, calculated at the prices in October 2017, the Ministry of Social Policy, the actual living wage for persons who have lost their ability to work, is UAH 2544, which is almost 2 times more than the minimum subsistence minimum established for these persons, and 1.5 times more the average size of the monthly disability pension. In fact, this means that people with disabilities are below the poverty line and cannot afford elementary things,” Serhiy Lovochkin said.
The MP stressed that, based on the parameters of the State Budget – 2018, the power is not going to solve this problem, since the projected increase (+ 9.4%) of the nominal subsistence minimum for people who have lost their ability to work, up to 1435 UAH will not be enough to reach its actual level in 2017.
“This growth subsistence level may not be enough even to cover inflation, which, according to expert estimates, will reach 12% next year due to significant devaluation rates and increase of utility tariffs, which should be automatically adjusted depending on the import price of gas,” the politician noted.
According to him, an increase of 16% of budget expenditures for state-funded rehabilitation programs for disabled people that are funded by the state through the Fund for Social Protection of the Disabled, compared to the planned increase in 46.7% of the budget expenditures for the maintenance of higher authorities, which the government has laid down in the budget for 2018, looks like scanty.
“Increasing financial support for public associations of disabled people and veterans, in particular, the National Assembly of Disabled of Ukraine, enterprises and organizations of the nonproductive sphere of the Ukrainian Society of the Blind and the Ukrainian Society for the Deaf by the State Budget – 2018 is not foreseen at all,” Serhiy Lovochkin summed up.