Viktor Medvedchuk: Tariff genocide should be stopped, the government – dismissed
Since January 1, 2021, the two-fold tariff cut promised by Zelenskyy has resulted in a significant increase in gas prices for the population and tariffs for other housing and communal services. It is not surprising that a wave of protests calling on an end to the tariff genocide followed.
Trying once again to deceive the population, the Cabinet of Ministers announced the elaboration of two approaches that will significantly reduce the cost of blue fuel for the population, deliberately ‘forgetting’ about the increase in tariffs for water supply and drainage, heat production, as well as the abolition of the preferential tariff for the electricity supply.
At the initiative of the Ministry of Energy, the authorities proposed to establish that from February 1, 2021, the gas price is established upon the formula ‘price at European hubs minus gas transportation to Ukraine’. Based on the statement of the Ministry of Energy, according to this formula, it is proposed to supply gas to the Ukrgasvydobuvannya state company for the so-called vulnerable consumers, and not imported gas. Thus, the absurdity of Vitrenko-Zelenskyy’s proposal lies in the fact that the price of gas of its own production, for example, produced in the Kharkiv or Poltava regions, will not take into account the cost of transportation from Dusseldorf to the point of entry into Ukraine. Most importantly, the scheme of importing Russian gas through a virtual reverse is preserved, allegedly from the German gas hub (NCG) by gas operators from countries that do not produce natural gas at all. The illogicality of this proposal also lies in the fact that the cost of domestic gas production does not exceed USD 100 per thousand cubic meters, while the cost of gas at European hubs is significantly higher.
By decrees No. 315 and No. 758, the previous government legitimized the criminal Dusseldorf+ formula, as a result of which citizens, industrial and other consumers began to pay extra for the cost of transporting natural gas from the German gas hub (NCG) to a virtual outlet on the territory of Slovakia, as well as for the cost of transporting natural gas from a virtual trading point to the western border of Ukraine (the cost of ‘exit’ from the gas transportation system of Slovakia). Experts say, according to this formula, Ukraine additionally overpays USD 38.5-42.5 per thousand cubic meters of imported gas.
My faction colleagues and I have repeatedly submitted official inquiries to the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the illegal nature of pricing on the gas market. The authorities cynically ignored the facts we presented on flagrant injustice and criminal conspiracy for the purpose of profit. MPs from our faction also registered the following draft laws: No. 2126 – on the abolition of rent and VAT on gas used for the needs of the population; No. 1122 – determining the formula for the average gas price, taking into account the cost of imported gas and gas of its own production; No. 3323 – providing for the cancellation of debts for certain types of public services for the most vulnerable segments of the population.
Our party of Opposition Platform - For Life suggested a set of measures to resolve issues of pricing in the housing sector. First: decrease in the price of gas for the population, taking into account the fall in the average customs value of imported gas.
Second: cancellation of the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities’s decisions on raising tariffs for the delivery of natural gas, water supply and drainage, heat production, as well as the return of the preferential tariff for electricity.
Third: recalculation of tariffs for heating and hot water supply downward, taking into account the decrease in gas prices for the population.
Fourth: legislative consolidation of the rule upon which gas produced by the Ukrgasvydobuvannya state-owned company is used exclusively for the needs of the population (the subsoil is the property of the Ukrainian people).
Fifth: the transition to direct gas supplies from the Russian Federation with a 25% discount, which we agreed on, and the rejection of the criminal Dusseldorf+ scheme.
Sixth: amending the state budget of Ukraine for 2021 in terms of an increase in funds allocated for subsidies, as well as the cancellation of the shameful legislative Ze-verification initiatives that make it impossible to provide a subsidy.
Only when these draft laws are adopted to provide for effective mechanisms to reduce tariffs, citizens of Ukraine will receive economically justified payments that fully meet their level of solvency. Tariff genocide through an increase in tariffs for Ukrainian citizens should be stopped, and the government should be dismissed.
Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party