Budget epopoeia: Ukraine's MPs supported state budget in the first reading

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

Verkhovna Rada took the first step towards adoption of budget-2018: 260 deputies voted for the main financial document in the first reading
17:00, 15 November 2017

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It seemed that despite expectations of the coalition, the MPs would not vote for the main financial document. According to our sources in coalition factions, only about 170 deputies were ready to vote for the budget in the first reading at the beginning of the week. Moreover, there was no unity on this issue, even in the factions of the majority.

However, according to the interlocutors, many deputies believed that the budget should be supported in the first reading, since "it means nothing."

“First of all, they cannot agree on the military budget," our sources in the factions of the majority stated.

The atmosphere of this kind of negotiations passed to the session hall. For a long time, parliamentarians could not collect votes for the consideration of bills under the reduced procedure. During the discussion, the leader of the Popular Front faction Maksym Burbak said: "We will not allow the budget process to be derailed."

Related: Parliament approves state budget for 2018 in first reading

Part of the influential parliamentarians from the coalition went to the Cabinet, and another - to the Presidential Administration. Representative of the president Iryna Lutsenko urged the need to launch the adoption of the 2018 budget.

In the evening, long negotiations resulted in 260 votes for the draft budget-2018. In addition to the coalition factions, the main financial document was supported by the groups "The Will of the People" and "Vidrodzhennya", as well as the factions of the Radical Party. In addition, representative of the faction "Samopomich" Yaroslav Markevych voted for the bill in the budget committee.

Effective voting, as usual, became possible after taking into account the wishes of individual people's choices. In particular, the government, according to People's Deputy Dmytro Belotserkivets (person of Vitaliy Klitschko), agreed to continue to pay subsidies from the state budget, although it was planned to transfer these expenses to local budgets. As explained by Finance Minister Olexander Danilyuk, this decision was made in connection with the subsequent monetization of subsidies. The government also compromised on the amount of subsidies from rich local budgets to poorer brethren.

Related: Ukrainian deputies are in no hurry to adopt the state budget

The agrarian lobby managed to defend the aggregate amount of the subsidy in exchange for votes. As explained by one of the influential deputies, the size of the subsidy will be no more than 150 million (for one person).

Part of Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction supported the budget in the first reading in exchange for the continuation of the road experiment – redirection of part of the funds from over-fulfillment of customs revenues to the roads. At the same time, the formula for distribution of these funds was changed, in particular, the overfulfilment of the plan at the energy customs office was excluded.

Popular Front representatives stressed that the budget took into account all the requirements relating to the financing of the defense sector.

Related: IMF experts to arrive in Kyiv to consider project of 2018 draft budget

The factions of the coalition were supported by the voices of The Will of the People and Vidrodzhennya, as well as the faction of the Radical Party. According to media reports, the group wants to get the post of chairman of the Volyn regional state administration for its representative. Redistribution of funds from the Regional Development Fund to the socio-economic development of the regions positively influenced the voting.


Related: Expensive Naftogaz: Where does company spend 1.8 billion of budget funds?

Oleh Lyashko and his associates were promised the get 2 billion of state guarantees to the export credit agency, which for a long time was supported by the People's Deputy Viktor Galasyuk.

After the vote, Prime Minister Groysman thanked the deputies for their support in the first reading of the draft budget-2018.


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