On December 21, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the state budget for 2017 with 275 votes. It was for the first time in many years that all regulations of the budget legislation had been met – the draft budget had been approved by the Government and submitted to the Parliament on time. Thus, the MPs and all interested citizens had enough time to look into the proposed budget. Accordingly, it helped restore the praxis of adopting the budget meeting the deadlines set by law instead of hastily delivering it “under the New Year tree”.
When preparing the budget for 2017, the Ministry of Finance changed its budgeting approach – for the first time the draft budget was not based on expenses or spending wishes, but on revenues and available resources. The principle was that the budget must be realistic and based on really available revenues. This made it possible to prepare a fair, realistic and responsible budget for 2017 ensuring the effective use of funds to cover the key needs of the citizens. This shall also ensure planned revenues without putting business under pressure but stimulating economic development instead.
Moreover, the budget revenue forecast was examined and confirmed by independent experts and representatives of the civil society. Thus, the budgeting process was really transparent for the first time.
One more special feature of the adopted budget for 2017 is that it mentions 10 priority areas which enjoy special attention in funds allocation. These are key areas where systemic reforms are being pursued – they include defense, social welfare, education, healthcare, foreign relations, agriculture, infrastructure, energy efficiency, culture and decentralization.
One more news regarding the budget for 2017 is a significant upgrade in the social welfare standards: starting from January 1, 2017, the minimum wage will be doubled to 3200 hryvnas. For the first time in the history of the independent Ukraine the minimum wage will be equal to the living wage for employable citizens. No single employee, including the public sector, will be earning less than this amount.
Also, a three-year planning is introduced with the budget for 2017 which makes it possible to plan future economic development. Preparing forecasts for several years ahead fosters systemic deep reforms and improvements in the business climate.
“This budget stipulates important reforms expected by our citizens. We are grateful to the Parliament for our fruitful cooperation, for the positive dialogue and support to the state budget”, Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk said.