Ukraine’s MP Hetmantsev on potential benefits cancellation for people with disabilities

Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy Danylo Hetmantsev
Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy Danylo Hetmantsev

If there are issues with receiving financialaid from the United States, Ukraine may need to seek deficit resources and consider canceling certain privileges, Ukraine’s parliamentary Finance Committee Chairman Danylo Hetmantsev said in an interview with Ukrinform on March 8.

“I wouldn’t want to publicly discuss the possibility of not receiving assistance from the United States at this time,” Hetmantsev said.

“I believe that ultimately, American congressmen will be able to reach an agreement, and in 2024, Ukraine will have the support necessary for us to effectively resist the enemy.”

Read also: Economic Security Bureau exposes costly impact of Ukrainian lawmaker benefits

There is potential for canceling some privileges, he said.

“When updating the Memorandum with the IMF in December of last year, we agreed that Ukraine would assess the efficiency of tax privileges, including their ‘cost’ to the budget, to adopt a unified reform approach,” Hetmantsev said.

The structural target for completing this assessment is the end of July 2024, he said.

“It is crucial for us to conduct a comprehensive audit of privileges that have been distributed throughout history, with reductions starting only in 2019,” Hetmantsev said.

“It’s time to evaluate the effectiveness and fairness of the remaining privileges, what overall economic effect they provide — whether they don’t provide any and only create holes in the budget.”

Read also: Number of millionaires increased by 16% over the year — MP Hetmantsev

Decisions regarding certain privileges would be made afterward, he said.

“Then, together with our partners, we can decide what is worth keeping and what actually harms the economy when assessing the overall effect rather than the benefit for a specific privilege recipient,” Hetmantsev said.

“For example, I am convinced that we should cancel the benefit for businesses of the All-Ukrainian organization of disabled people, who still receive VAT reimbursement, paying this tax at a zero rate. Such a privilege is absolutely unjustified because essentially the freed-up resources do not go to support people with disabilities but to finance a few families that have monopolized this sphere in Ukraine.”

This is one of the few privileges that have remained from previous parliamentary convocations, he said.

“Eliminating it would provide a necessary resource for the state,” Hetmantsev said.

“However, canceling the remnants of the ‘privilege festival’ will not significantly impact budget revenues. More detailed discussions on the cumulative effect of reviewing existing tax privileges can occur after conducting an analysis within the EFF program.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced a reduction in the number of ministries to save public funds.

Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers needs to be relieved of more than 30 inappropriate powers and functions, Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Oleh Nemchinov, said on March 4.

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