Although inflation rates were high in the first months of 2021, Ukraine’s government has taken no measures to stop it. This resulted in inflation rate being close to a two-digit figure, 8.4 percent as of end of April. According to OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE MP Serhiy Lovochkin, immediate measures must be introduced to stop socially important goods and services from growing more expensive.
“Inflation always hits the citizens’ wallets. But current period is special as socially important foods and services go up in price the most, including bread, sunflower oil, sugar, and utilities. This means the poorest Ukrainians suffer the most, the ones whose key expenses are food and utility services. Therefore, fighting inflation is the major issue of the social politics, and the government failed to solve it,” the politician said.
The MP cited data than all items in food and non-alcohol beverages category, except for vegetables, grew more expensive in April 2021 compared to April 2020. The highest increase was seen for bread (+15.9 percent), sunflower oil (+62.9 percent), sugar (+65 percent), and eggs (+90 percent).
Same is true for utility services which went up by 26.5 percent over the past year due to increase in electricity rates (+36.6 percent), natural gas price for population (+89.9 percent), water services (+18.7 percent), and heating and hot water (+14.8 percent).
“In winter, political opposition and people’s protests led to a decision that limited gas rates for population, but it has been since cancelled. It was the only attempt to stop price increase and subsequent poverty increase. Therefore, new solutions are needed, more global ones.
“While revising utility rates policy, we must also raise a question on lowering VAT for socially important foods from 20 percent to 5–8 percent, like Poland did, as well as increasing support for agriculture by at least twofold in the budget of this year (up to 10 billion hryvnia). This will help to not only decrease inflation rate but also support national producers,” Lovochkin said.