Lovochkin: Population Utility Debts Reach Record High of 81 Billion Hryvnia
By the end of January, the population’s debt for utility fees reached yet another record high of 81 billion hryvnia. Since the beginning of the heating season alone, the debt increased by 26.6 billion hryvnia, which means people cannot afford current draconian bills. This was stated by OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE MP Serhiy Lovochkin.
“In January alone, the population was billed 30.8 billion hryvnia for utilities consumption, of which only 77.7 percent were paid. Since the beginning of the heating season, people consumed housing and public utilities worth 91.9 billion hryvnia, with only 70.5 percent being paid. This is an evidence that utility fees are unaffordable to most citizens,” Lovochkin said.
According to the MP, over 75 percent of the population’s utility debt consists of fees for gas, heating, and hot water. In four months of current heating season, the gas debt rose by 63 percent, heating and hot water by 63.2 percent.
“All of this resulted from poorly thought policies by the government which led to millions of Ukrainian families living below the poverty line. The bills with exorbitant fees are a verdict for many families as the government follows a policy of benefits repeal and subsidies cut,” the MP said.
The politician stated that in January alone the number of households receiving subsidies shortened by 266,000 compared to December 2020. “Who will believe that over a quarter million of Ukrainian families saw their welfare increase overnight so that they withdrew from the subsidies program,” the politician asks.
“The policy of saving at the expense of poor and socially unprotected groups of population must be stopped, and full funding of benefits and subsidies restored. The government’s obligation is to help citizens who need it,” Lovochkin said.