The Ukrainian government is considering the possibility of monetizing subsidies which are left unused by households at the end of the heating season, according to the press service of Vice Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko.
”One of the options for improving the system of subsidies, and I reckon it will be introduced, is the monetization of the subsidies saved. When a consumer saves on gas and power consumption, and at the end of the heating season there is a positive delta, we are working on getting this positive delta monetized,” the press service quoted Rozenko as saying.
Rozenko, however, doubted that full monetization of subsidies was possible.
”The subsidy has a clearly targeted use, which is payment for gas and utility services. We need to make sure that the funds will be used precisely for that purpose. Unfortunately, this cannot be done through a 100% monetization of the subsidies,” the press service, citing the vice prime minister, reported.
According to the report, last year the average amount of subsidy per family was UAH 1,400.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the Social Policy Ministry projects that the number of households in need of state subsidies will grow in the 2016-2017 winter season from 5.5 million people to 8.9 million people, following the decision made by the Ukrainian government to introduce a single gas price for all categories of consumers starting from May 1.
The Ministry of Finance reported that 43% of the bills for utilities in 2015 were covered by subsidies. Last year`s budget allocated UAH 35 billion for subsidies, and in 2016 the government has earmarked over UAH 40 billion for this purpose.
Rozenko stated that at least UAH 45 billion in state budget funds would be allocated for household subsidies in 2017. The Finance Ministry forecasts the amount may reach UAH 70-80 billion.