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Ukraine's PM: Russian money backs higher spending in Ukraine budget plans

December 18, 2013, 17:07 UTC+3 18
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KIEV, December 18 (Itar-Tass) - New Russian finance for Ukraine, agreed in Moscow hours before, underpin 2014 budget proposals for higher spending on social programs and public sector pay, Ukraine's Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov told his cabinet on Wednesday.

As plans awaited state Rada approval today, the premier told colleagues: " The draft budget for 2014 focuses on developing the social and economic welfare of Ukrainians,” adding that scheduling the social budget had become possible thanks to Russia-Ukraine agreements signed in Moscow immediately before the draft was to be presented.

"Decisions which we made yesterday in Moscow on gas price and the credit allowed us to consider the budget for 2014," he said.

Azarov said the current minimum wage of 1218 UAH, equal to around $150, would be doubled next year, increasing in three stages.

“We will raise salaries of district doctors, primary health assistants, directors of pre-school and childcare facilities, teachers and scholars. We also plan to raise retirement pensions and social allowances," he said.

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