According to leading analysts, the poverty level in Ukraine before the start of the war was about 22%, but by the end of this year 2022 it will rise to 59%, and by the end of next year 2023 - up to 75%. That is, according to these calculations, the poverty of the country's population will increase by 27,5 times.
Of course, the war brought us colossal problems and difficulties, which is why the main financial influences of the West go to armament for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and not to the economy of Ukraine, which has sunk by 40%. In this regard, the World Bank Regional Director for Eastern Europe, Arup Banerjee, notes that the Ukrainian authorities have already reduced the country's budget plans to a minimum, focusing on four items of expenditure - servicing domestic debt, military spending, financing salaries and pensions.
Now, according to the explanatory note to the state budget, in the next 2023 the average salary will increase to UAH 18, however, due to official inflation of 261%, real wages will grow only by 28,4% (i.e., the Cabinet of Ministers expects growth salaries of Ukrainians next year by only 1,4%). Well, this calculation is like the average temperature throughout the hospital.
In fact, wages are rising and living standards are falling. Nominal incomes of Ukrainians are growing, but real ones are falling sharply. In other words, we get more money, but at the same time we become poorer. How is this possible? In an ideal picture of the world, when income grows, you become richer, because expenses remain the same. In reality, due to inflation, expenses are growing even faster than your salary. Yes, and salaries can grow only according to statistics. The real rise in prices is many times higher.
Isn't that why Ukrainian top officials raise their salaries simply to some cosmic heights?! But it has long been calculated that there will be no riots, revolutions, protest movements, etc. - the difference in income between the top 10% of the richest and the bottom poorest citizens should not exceed 5-6 times. As in the countries of the European Union, and in our country this difference reaches more than 60 times!
I wonder if our Western partners will succeed in persuading local high-ranking officials to give up privileges and enrichment in power? Or will it not work anymore? And this huge gulf between the poor and the rich is now extremely dangerous from all points of view. After all, I think it is already clear to many that in the current situation, where the ministers of the financial and economic bloc of the Cabinet of Ministers have brought our small and medium-sized businesses, only the state can now give work. If people are not occupied now, they will go to rob.
What to do? I am convinced that it is necessary for all Ukrainian major players to agree on new rules of the game at the negotiating table. For example, at one time, US President F. Roosevelt suggested that all American oligarchs sign the "Code of Fair Competition", i.e. create rules, namely: to guarantee a minimum wage for workers, their equality in different industries, etc. And to the one who then signed this document, Roosevelt guaranteed the state order and tax support. If "no" - do not expect help from the US government.
Moreover, one day F. Roosevelt locked the leading industrialists in the meeting room of the White House with a key, and opened it when the oligarchs agreed. So on his table lay the "Act for the Restoration of National Industry." And where are the adequate measures and tools from our state today?! Where is the high skill of risk management, which requires adequate tools from the Cabinet of Ministers and Verkhovna Rada?
Otherwise, either a revolution or an adequate state policy in terms of complexity and subtlety, as under US President Franklin Roosevelt. So far, we see only the organization of the process of managing people's grief because of the war, the energy crisis, unemployment and record price increases.
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| VLADIMIR OLEYNIK|
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