Parliament votes for doubled minimum wage

Ukraine`s Verkhovna Rada passed a government-prepared bill doubling the minimum wages to UAH 3,200, or US$123, per capita as of January 1, 2017.

Respective bill No. 5130 on amendments to some legal acts of Ukraine was supported by 227 MPs with the required minimum being 226 votes.

Presenting the bill, Social Policy Minister Andriy Reva said that the bill would enhance social security.

”This bill does not contain a single additional rule that would limit social benefits and programs compared with decisions taken by the Verkhovna Rada in 2014 and 2015. Particularly this bill creates conditions for doubling the minimum wages from January 1, 2017, to UAH 3,200,” he said.

The minister also said that the bill proposes the introduction of a European approach to determining the minimum wage, when high-ranking officials` salaries are not pegged to the minimum wages and the minimum wage is no longer used as a unit to measurement for calculating fines, tariffs of administrative services, or rates of taxes and fees.

”Another important task is to make large groups of employees get engaged in social insurance and to reinforce insurance-based principles of the compulsory social insurance system,” Reva said.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman in turn said during debates on the bill in parliament that the Ukrainian government`s task is to increase the minimum wage, reduce the deficit of the Pension Fund and then raise the minimum pension in the country.

”Our task today is to raise wages, reduce the Pension Fund`s deficit. [We should] make everything to ensure conditions and grounds for the increase in the minimum pension. We understand that today it is impossible to live, getting a mere UAH 949 ($36.5), therefore it`s our problem we`ll be looking for a solution to,” he said.

He called on lawmakers to support the increased minimum wage by voting for the relevant bill.

”From a village to a city, everyone will be paid at least UAH 3,200. This bill will improve the situation in the Ukrainian economy, increase consumption in the real sector and create additional jobs,” the prime minister said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the Cabinet of Ministers on November 9 submitted a draft national budget for 2017 to parliament for consideration in second reading.

In keeping with the document, the minimum wage should double from January 1, to UAH 3,200.

Additional costs in the amount of approximately UAH 28.3 billion are envisaged in the budget to guarantee the payment of increased wages to public sector workers.

The parliament`s budget committee recommended that lawmakers consider the draft state budget for 2017 in second reading after the adoption of related government bills, including on an increase in the minimum wage (bill No. 5130), on amendments to the Budget and Tax Codes (Nos. 5131 and 5132), as well as on special confiscation (No. 5142).

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