Alexey Albu: Ukrainian deputies’ votes do more harm than their salary increases

By Ilya Murom

Leaders of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, against the background of increasing electricity tariffs for the population of the country, have decided to increase their own salaries by several times. How can the growth of deputies’ salaries be justified against the backdrop of the impoverishment of the Ukrainian population? Searching for an answer, the Federal News Agency correspondent turned to an expert.

Alexey Albu
As stated in the response of the Verkhovna Rada to a journalistic inquiry, the Ukrainian Parliament intends to increase the labor costs of deputies this year by nearly triple — from 32.2 million hryvnia (84 million rubles) to 91.2 million hryvnia (240 million rubles) from the state budget of Ukraine.

Recall that last year Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Groysman set a monthly salary for deputies, which is now 6,109 hryvnia (about 16,000 rubles) per month without additional payments and taxes. In addition, this year the Ukrainian parliament plans to increase the labor costs of the deputies’ assistants by 85 percent, from 69 million hryvnia (182 million rubles) to 127 million hryvnia (335 million rubles).

It’s also worth mentioning that, according to official information released on March 1, the salary of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is 11,620 hryvnia (30,000 rubles).

The expert of the Institute for Innovation Development Alexey Albu, commenting to the FAN correspondent, said that the increase of salaries for Verkhovna Rada deputies is not the greatest evil caused by the state. According to him, the Verkhovna Rada is a very heterogeneous institution, which, contrary to the image held by most people, is not all millionaires and billionaires.

“The fact is, there are many parliamentary deputies who do not have their own assets in the form of factories, mines and other enterprises. And who came to Parliament in the hope of improving their situation. If we compare Deputy Mikhail Gavrilyuk [former Maidan activist] and Deputy Andriy Vadaturskyy [agribusiness oligarch], you can immediately understand the different social levels of these people, despite the fact that both are members of Parliament.

“Not all deputies have been involved in ‘the cut’ [graft]. Not because they are honest and decent, but because they simply are not allowed. Naturally, this dashed the hopes of many deputies who entered the Ukrainian parliament. This was very funny to watch from the sidelines,” said Alexey Albu.

After all, the political scientist observed, Gavrilyuk and Mosiychuk and other “elected” calculated on mountains of gold, but it turned out that they instead have to accept pitiful handouts and sold themselves for a mere 3,000 hryvnia, as Mosiychuk did. Naturally, dissatisfaction with the current situation is growing among the “lower” ranks of the Verkhovna Rada.

“This is why there are salary increases. They also are not lacking. It should also be said that the increase occurs after the downgrade. That [earlier] reduction of salaries to deputies was a purely populist move, the usual PR stunt. Because such measures do not have any influence on the country’s economy. The deputies do more harm to Ukraine by their vote, than by raising their salaries.

“Sale of state property dirt cheap, destruction of state-owned enterprises, the impending sale of land — all this is much more dangerous than the wage increase for Gavrilyuk & Co. Many joke that it would be better if they were paid twice as much, if only they would leave Ukraine alone. And that’s the truth,” stated Alexey Albu.


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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