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Cash-strapped Ukraine seeks to abolish Soviet-era social benefits

January 23, 2015, 10:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Over the years after the Soviet Union’s collapse Ukraine’s authorities failed to reform the post-Soviet system of social benefits and the number of allowances only increased amid the wave of populism
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Ukraine, which seeks to revive its cash-strapped economy, plans to cancel some of social benefits inherited from the Soviet past, the country’s Minister of Labour and Social Policy Pavlo Rozenko said on Friday.

Over the years after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, Ukraine’s authorities failed to reform the post-Soviet system of social benefits and the number of allowances only increased amid the wave of populism.

“As a result, currently we have more than 700 types of benefits and preferences. It’s evident that Ukraine can no longer move in this direction,” the Ukrinform news agency quoted Rozenko as saying.

According to the minister, “inefficient benefits will be abolished as part of the social sphere reform.”

The Lviv region, in Western Ukraine, has been chosen as the pilot region for the upcoming cash-for-benefits reform.

The minister said inefficient social benefits which existed “virtually” but were never allocated will be canceled. The government plans to provide allowances only for those people who really need them, he said.

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