According to the current legislation of Ukraine, the subsistence minimum is the cost value sufficient to ensure normal functioning of the human body, preservation of health, a set of food products, as well as a minimum set of nonfood products and a minimum set of services necessary to meet basic social and cultural needs of the individual (article 1 of the Law of Ukraine "On subsistence minimum"). This figure is a basic state of social standard, based on which are determined by the state social guarantees and standards in the areas of income, housing and utilities, household, socio-cultural services, health and education. That is why, today formed a special normative method of its determination.
But is this method applied by our Government? Whether its size, approved by legislator, is enough considering the requirements of today, where a person clearly can not sustain their lives with the help of 1176 UAH. Will the person will be able to live on 1330 UAH, as a sum, currently known as victory in the reforms after the changes of the Law of Ukraine "On amending the Law of Ukraine "On state budget of Ukraine for 2015"?
So, on 18 September 2015 after the signing of this legislation on the official website of the President of Ukraine we find the words of loud support of the Deputy corps and government. As the President "is proud of the Ukrainian Parliament, who found the strength to unite and to demonstrate not only the Ukrainian people and the whole world their extremely responsible behaviour in these difficult times." The head of state expressed confidence that the reforms will contribute to the improvement of the economic situation.
But whether such changes are so effective for the average Ukrainian. The answer to this question in the struggle for the increase of the subsistence level for the Ukrainian people tried to give many scientists, public activists, experts.
That is why, on 5 April this year, the public filed a lawsuit in the District administrative court in Kyiv with the subject matter: "recognition illegal inactivity of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the obligation to take action." However, of course, struggle with the "bureaucratic machine" was quite long. Members of the Cabinet filed a number of motions, which fortunately, did not find its approval by the court. Time dragged on with the committing of other procedural actions.
Perhaps it is the lack of facilities and the evidentiary bases of the claim objections in the case, and was caused the submission of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine the draft law on amendments to the law on changing the subsistence level.
So, according to item 2 of part 1 of the Bill provided for the presentation of articles 7 and 8 as follows:
"Article 7. Set in 2015 the subsistence minimum on one person counting on the month in the amount from 1 January 2015 — 1176 UAH, from 1 September — 1330 UAH, and for basic social and demographic groups of the population:..........
able-bodied persons: from January 1, 2015 — 1218 UAH, from the 1st of September — 1378 UAH;
persons who have lost working capacity: since January 1, 2015 — 949 hryvnias, from the 1st of September — 1074 UAH.
Article 8. Set in 2015 minimum wage:
monthly size: from 1 January — 1218 UAH, from 1 September — 1378 UAH;
in the hourly size — 1 January — 7,29 UAH, from 1 September to 8.29 UAH ".
But whether such changes are so positive? As noted in the Explanatory note to the draft Law "On amending the Law of Ukraine "On State budget of Ukraine for 2015"" in consultation with the IMF, the Ministry of economic development and trade of Ukraine expects the growth of consumer prices in the measurement of the December to December of the previous year in the amount of 45, 8 per cent. At the same time, the authorities are pleased with the result of the growth of subsistence level and minimum wage in 13, 1 percent.
How today should live a simple Ukrainian? It is unfair, illegal and humiliating for us as citizens to accept that the government, instead of reforms convinces us to live with what we have. What is another word to call it besides "bullying" over the common people?
In fact, a living wage is a human right to those safeguards provided by the Constitution: adequate standard of living, food, clothing, shelter, health and personal development. It is something that the state can't refuse. Although, as we see, our stete refuses.
Today our country is dependent on import. And bookmarks in the state budget for this year the dollar equivalent of 21.7 UAH along with the cost of living even in 1330 UAH. (1 September 2015), which is equivalent to a $ 61,29 cents – is cynical.
In addition, if we analyze the ratio of the subsistence minimum for 2014 (article 7) – 1176 UAH. according to the dollar equivalent of the average of 9,5 UAH for a dollar, and it is 123 dollars 79 cents, we can see how poorer our population become only for 1 year – that's 62 dollars and 50 cents.
Moreover, according to article 4 of the law "On subsistence minimum", the minimum subsistence level established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine after carrying out of scientific and public expertise of the formed food set, set of non-food goods and services. Such examination in December 2014, before submission to the government draft budget for 2015 was not held. Also, according to article 3 of the law, a set of food and nonfood goods and services should be updated at least once in five years. In Ukraine this set didn't updated for 15 years.
This position was fully recognized by the legitimate District administrative court of Kyiv,wich on September 17 ordered the Cabinet to reconsider the living wage and set it at a level that will meet the requirements of article 48 of the Constitution of Ukraine and Law of Ukraine "On subsistence minimum". The court ordered the Government to take legal measures and implement existing competence, namely: to conduct research and public examination of a set of foodstuff, non-food set of goods and services to establish the subsistence minimum in Ukraine, and view the contents of the kits of non-food products, food products and services for key socio-demographic groups of the population.
As can be seen from the explanatory notes from 09.09.2015, such examination was not conducted. And therefore we have a chance to view the level of the subsistence minimum, which was approved today.
I hope a proper needs assessment and proposals will be made. And our citizens will be adequately ensured by the state to leading a good life.
Solomiya Starosolska, lawyer, member of the NGO “Community Development” (“Rozvytok Hromady”)