: :inin Kyiv (EET)

President Petro Poroshenko signs 2017 budget with doubled minimum wages


Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a bill on the 2017 national budget into law, praising the government for the submission of the document on time.

”Poroshenko emphasized that having ruined previous years` traditions, the government had submitted the state budget to the Verkhovna Rada on time,” the presidential press service said on Monday, December 26.

According to him, the budget was discussed in detail at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council in the context of security and defense expenses, which account for 5.2% of GDP.

”These expenses will primarily go for the funding of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, covering not only financial, health, clothing and food security, but also the financing of state defense orders,” he said.

”For the first time, there will be the transition from the testing of new samples of weaponry designed in the past two and a half years to arming, which will significantly beef up the combat capability of our Armed Forces,” he said.

Other law-enforcement agencies will also be provided with sufficient funding, he added.

What is more, he praised ”unprecedented steps” to protect working people.

”The head of state particularly noted that the government, president, prime minister and parliament had jointly made unprecedented, game-changing steps to enhance labor protection – the minimum wage was doubled to UAH 3,200.

”It is very important that the salary of teachers, doctors, mainly qualified workers, is being increased. Finally, we have an opportunity to ensure proper financial support for the working people,” Poroshenko said.

The president described the adopted budget as social, reform-oriented, which defends Ukrainian producers, workers and significantly improves the investment climate in the country.

The 2017 budget also allocates unprecedented financing for road construction, he said.

The president stressed that the decentralization reform in the country for the third year in a row had considerably fulfilled the regions` coffers, opening up more opportunities.

Poroshenko boasted that local communities` budgets for development had grown from five to six times.

He expressed the hope that after a thorough analysis of legislative amendments by international experts and investors, Ukraine`s positions in the Doing Business ranking would further climb.

”This is the end of a very important phase, which proves the efficiency and importance of coordinated actions of the government, prime minister, parliament and president,” he said.

The president also signed bills into law to increase wages of state-owned coal mines` workers, upgrade some legislative acts of Ukraine regarding an increase in the minimum wage up to UAH 3,200, and amend the Budget Code.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the Verkhovna Rada on December 21 adopted a government-drafted budget for 2017 with a 3% deficit and 3% economic growth. Budget revenues were set at UAH 721.4 billion, while expenditures were projected at UAH 790.4 billion. The budget deficit is capped at UAH 77.5 billion.

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