The regions are not able to finance the social expenses that the central government has thrown at them, and this leads to a significant deterioration in the living standards of citizens. This was written by the MP from the Opposition Bloc Serhiy Lovochkin in his request to Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman. The politician demands to take urgent appropriate measuresaimed at strengthening the financial stability of the regions, including through fiscal decentralization.

“The inability of the regions to fully finance the aforementioned articles of social expenditures leads to a significant deterioration in the living standards of citizens and an increase in tension in society. Continuation of the current budgetary policy by the government can lead to inability of local self-government bodies to perform the functions of life support of communities and development of territories... I demand to take urgent appropriate measures aimed at strengthening the financial stability of the regions, including introduction of effective incentives towards fiscal decentralization,” the request says.

Serhiy Lovochkin explained that the share of local budgets (without transfers) in the consolidated budget had fallen to 22.6% in 2017, compared to 23.6% in 2013. Every year, more and more social expenditures are transferred from the central level, including those related to the financing of medicine, education, social benefits. According to the Association of Ukrainian Cities last year the total amount of additional workload for local budgets, taking into account past years, exceeded UAH 68 billion.

As a consequence, at the end of last year and at the beginning of the current year, there were problems with providing heating of houses and institutions in Kropivnitsky, Slavutych, Smel, the city of Teplodar is under the threat. Because of non-payment of wages to education and health workers, protest actions took place in Transcarpathia, whose participants blocked traffic on the highway Kyiv-Chop. There is a similar situation in the Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv Oblasts. In the Chernihiv Oblast, in the city of Oster, last year, after the transfer of the hospital to the balance of the local community, the staff did not receive wages for several months, which caused protests from hospital staff. Last year, in the Cherkassy region, the road sector was provided with funds only by 30%, which limited the ability to repair roads of prime importance.

“The main reason for this situation is the government’s steps that have led to the consolidation of budget resources in the center and an annual growth in the amount of unfinanced delegated authorities that are transferred from the center to the local level,” the MP explained.