Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
12th April, 2016
The richest of all Europe’s Presidents, Petro Poroshenko, has refused to return the Chernobyl veterans’ benefits and pensions. The President put his veto on a bill, which was recently adopted by the Verkhovna Rada. Information regarding this appeared on the Parliament’s official website.
According to Petro Poroshenko, the costs of this kind to Chernobyl victims are too exorbitant and will unbalance the country’s budget.
It is reported that Poroshenko sent the law back to Parliament for revision. In addition to this act, the President was supposed to return to Parliament a list of changes that he would like to see in a new legislative act.
Recall that the law vetoed by the President intended to return Chernobyl veterans priority rights for the free provision of sanatorium vouchers or compensation for the cost of independent sanatorium treatment. In addition, the act was returning benefits to the relatives of the Chernobyl veterans of the 1st category accident, regardless of the cause of death from the Chernobyl disaster. Thus, in particular, minor children and/or spouses of the deceased Chernobyl veterans of the accident of the 1st category, regardless of causation of death from the Chernobyl disaster, have had privileges enjoyed by the deceased, as well as a one-time lump-sum compensation for the loss of a breadwinner, and future monthly compensation.
In his proposals to the law, Poroshenko noted that the proposed document does not align with the uniform policy of the state in reforming the system of privileges, compensations, and guarantees to separate categories of citizens by ensuring their demands, taking into account the average monthly income of a family.
“Statutory changes will result in additional expenses from the state budget of Ukraine (according to the forecast calculations of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, the implementation of the law will require annually an additional expenditure from the state budget of Ukraine to the amount of 1.5 billion hryvnias) and, in the absence of the appropriate definition of sources of budget revenues, budget constraints, and significant downward pressure on the economy of the state, the state budget of Ukraine would become unbalanced,” stated the proposals cited by “112-Ukraine”.
As a reminder, on March 23rd, Chernobyl veterens blockaded Grushevsky Street in front of the Cabinet.
They demanded that the Cabinet of Ministers return their social payments, benefits, and pensions, which they must pay by law. The protesters said that now they receive up to $2500, and that is their “pension”, and that by law they should be 6-10 times the minimum wage depending on the “Chernobyl” degree. The protesters also demanded the return of children’s benefits that were also cancelled recently.
Judging by the reasoning of Petro Poroshenko, they feel they should be obliged to go to these kinds of rallies more than once, but there is no guarantee that they will be heard.