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Saakashvili says Ukraine’s new Tax Code is disaster for country

December 17, 2015, 7:17 UTC+3 KIEV
He said that heavy theft and the lack of reforms in the past two years have driven Ukraine’s economy to the gravest condition
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

KIEV, December 17. /TASS/. Ukraine’s new Tax Code due to be considered by the parliament on Thursday is a disaster for the country, Odessa region governor Mikhail Saakashvili, who is also president of the Ukrainian consultative international council for reforms, said on Thursday.

"The Tax Code submitted to the parliament reflects the two years of activities of this government which has driven Ukraine to a situation when we have to consider this code, which is a real disaster for small and medium-sized businesses, for farmers and for the economy in general," he said in an interview with News One television channel.

He said that heavy theft and the lack of reforms in the past two years have driven Ukraine’s economy to the gravest condition.

"On Thursday, we are to vote for either complete collapse of the Ukrainian economy, since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will give no money, or for the tax code which will inevitably ruin the economy in the long run, because it envisages very harsh measures for the economy. This is the result of this government," he said.

According to Saakashvili, Ukraine and Zimbabwe are the only two states across the globe where GDP is lower than in 1991.

Earlier, the budget and the tax code came under severe criticism from the Opposition Bloc and Batkivshchina (Fatherland) parties. Oleg Lyashko, the leader of the Radical Party, said these draft documents were "genocide" and pledged his party would not vote for them.

The draft 2016 budget and the draft tax code are to be passed the soonest possible, as requested by the country’s top officials and international creditors.

Experts say the draft budget impoverishes the majority of the Ukrainians. Thus, a minimal growth of the living wage is set at 12%, from 1,330 to 1,496 hryvnias (from 57.6 to 64.8 U.S. dollars). Inflation in the meantime, according to the forecasts of Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the Ukrainian Choice public movement, is to reach from 20 to 30% "It means that Ukrainians will have to face not merely indigence but extreme poverty and the 2016 budget enshrines this in law," he said.

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