The industrial business community is seriously concerned about the growing rate of poverty in Ukraine. We should not tolerate the fact that living standards are sharply worsening in the center of Europe and that payment capacity on the domestic market is dropping, which obviously gives the economy no chance to develop properly, President of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) Anatoliy Kinakh said while commenting on a national report entitled "Millennium Development Goals. Ukraine 2000-2015."
Experts of the United Nations and the Ukrainian Institute for Demography and Social Studies analyzed data gathered over the last 15 years and said in the report that the level of poverty is expected to jump to 33% in 2015, although the target is 7%. Head of the Ptoukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies and a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ella Libanova, said while commenting on the causes of the increased poverty that Ukraine has found itself in this situation for other reasons than the war in its eastern regions.
"We would have faced an increase in poverty anyway. We should not explain everything by the war. We approached this crisis not because of the war. We were heading towards it during previous years," she said adding that social benefits for vulnerable groups help some people, however, they do not help to reduce poverty.
Kinakh believes that this problem could be solved if the economy, namely small- and medium-sized businesses, developed and self-employed parts of the population were encouraged to eliminate unemployment. The government has to do the utmost to allow citizens to earn money using their intellect and labor so they can provide themselves and other citizens with jobs, support their families, and build their future. First of all, the procedures for registration and doing business should be simplified and taxes should be cut for this purpose. Bureaucratic and other obstacles should be eliminated for small-sized businesses and they should be allowed to work with tax holidays and without checks at the initial stage.
"It makes sense when people don't register at the employment center, instead they apply own efforts, intellect, and health in order to ensure well-being for themselves and their families as well as are ready to create at least several jobs. They deserve public respect," Kinakh said.
He stressed that the latest initiatives of the ULIE were aimed at the improvement of the business environment. They include demands for the cancellation of electronic VAT accounts and the postponement of the installation of cash registers by all categories of small-sized businesses.
As for social protection, the ULIE president thinks that targeted social aid should be introduced for citizens. This would allow some people to avoid long bureaucratic procedures, gathering numerous certificates, and abuses and corruption in the regions.
"It's not subsidies and social benefits that reduce poverty, although they also should be sufficient and organized, but operating economy. The government has to pay maximum attention to anti-crisis economic measures, forming of effective industrial policy, creation of favorable business environment, and development of small-sized businesses. That's what will provide people with jobs and, hence, with wages and pensions, and will protect people against new upheavals," Kinakh said.