Tariff hikes in Ukraine could lead to school closures

Another increase in utility tariffs may result in the closure of schools, kindergartens and impoverishment of Ukrainians. This was stated by the head of the Union of Consumers of communal services Oleg Popenko in his article for “Glavred”

Tariff hikes in Ukraine could lead to school closures

The expert reminded that the prices of communal services in Ukraine are quite European, although the level of wages is definitely far from Europe. Popenko said that to reach the level of Poland Kiev needs to raise the minimum pension by 160 per cent and lower the tariffs roughly as much. However, the administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the contrary, continues to raise utility prices.

“Tariffs will continue to rise in the future, because the majority of heat and power utilities have put the cost of their services at around 5 hryvnia in 2017-2018, and now gas is offered to them at 9-9.5 hryvnia (7.42 per cubic metre plus distribution costs). In other words, it turns out that heating utilities are now forced to pay 90 per cent more, so they will have to submit new calculations to the National Commission carrying out state regulation in the fields of energy and utilities and approve new tariffs”, –  the head of the Consumers Union wrote.

According to him, the percentage of increase in a particular city will depend on a number of factors: what city, in what condition the networks and equipment are. Popenko said that if it is a small town, where there are no conglomerations and businesses that can transfer part of the tariffs to them by raising tariffs for utility services, then all these costs will inevitably fall on the shoulders of household consumers: in Chernivtsi the heat tariffs have increased by 70%, in Kyiv – by 40%, and in Odessa – by 56%.

After the increase of tariffs, Ukrainians will have to pay 100 billion hryvnias more for utilities than in 2020. Previously, the heating of a two-room flat cost Kiev residents 2 thousand hryvnias, and after the next increase in tariffs, the amount will increase by 500 hryvnias each month.

“The situation could be particularly critical in small towns, where the volume of non-payers is greater due to a smaller number of subscribers. If they are unable to do so, they will have to go to the gas market where they will have to buy gas for the population 2.5 times more expensive than from Naftogaz. Consequently, schools and kindergartens will start closing down because of this, and it will be easier for the local authorities to impose lockdowns. Therefore, there is a possibility that because of the lack of funds, the heating season could start later and end earlier. Not to mention that in some cities it may not even start”, –  the expert concluded.

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