Overpriced tariffs and non-payment crisis – Ukraine’s communal system threatens to collapse
Ukraine is on the verge of collapse of housing and communal system. With the arrival of cold weather, bills in notices grow exponentially. Alongside, like a snowball, the debts of the population for utilities keep on increasing. The government continues to rob poor citizens.
In the spring of 2019, Volodymyr Zelenskyy led the country in the wake of merciless criticism of the then current utility rates. By the summer, the government... disowned the idea of revising them, saying the new President was joking about exorbitant gas prices, but did not promise anyone to reduce them.
With the arrival of cold weather, trying to avoid popular anger, the President announced: “We have found an interesting solution that will allow us to reduce tariffs in the winter 2020 by almost half. It will definitely not be at your expense.” At that moment, the gas price was UAH 5.7 per cubic meter.
That was accurately one year ago. As of today, the gas price for the population ... has increased from UAH 5.7 to a record of UAH 9.7 per cubic meter. This is despite the Naftogaz company keeps on reporting: the storage facilities are full. Moreover, the blue fuel itself is partly produced in Ukraine, and partly purchased in the summer season at low prices.
Increasing electricity prices is now on the agenda. The Ministry of Energy unambiguously warned of the upcoming revision of the electricity tariff, and the price of electricity transportation has grown by 30% since December 1. This will entail an increase in other utility rates.
Zelenskyy and his team continue to shamelessly deceive and cynically rob their nation. Amidst the pandemic and quarantine, which has led to the loss of earnings and last savings, the tariff policy of the current government illustrates pure genocide of the Ukrainian people. The crisis of non-payments threatens to completely destroy the run-down communal system. Besides, one has no idea how a likely monthly lockdown will affect it in the winter.
Which leaves to state that the current government has briskly picked up the baton from the previous one, which had used to burden citizens with the overpriced utility rates. The official data says, since 2013, tariffs for housing and communal services in Ukraine (gas, heat, electricity, water supply) have increased by an average of 9.2 times, or 821%. This has become an overwhelming burden for the country’s population. The debt on utility bills has already exceeded UAH 56 billion, having increased by almost UAH 2 billion in October alone.
Moreover, since the heating season has just started, debts will grow. This can lead not only to the collapse of the communal system, but also to a man-made disaster. In fact, the country is kind of living on a powder keg: the emergency situation to have frozen over Alchivsk in 2006, could repeat itself in any of the Ukrainian cities this winter.
A year and a half ago, the Opposition Platform – For Life party offered official Kyiv a real mechanism to reduce tariffs for the population: direct supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine, even with a 25% discount on the price. The leaders of the Opposition Platform – For Life party reached the respective arrangements with the Russian side in the spring of 2019. However, similarly to the previous government, the current ‘green’ team is to obtain more gains by fishing out the last pennies from the empty wallets of its citizens, allowing Western traders to make money on these schemes.
The Opposition Platform – For Life party states with full responsibility: the problem of utility tariffs requires an urgent solution. Impoverished Ukrainians are unable to satisfy the growing appetites of Zelenskyy and the oligarchs close to him. Utility tariffs have become unaffordable for most Ukrainian families. The responsibility for the impending collapse of the communal system, for the failure to fulfill its promises will fall entirely on the government, the head of state and MPs from the pro-government party.
Opposition Platform – For Life