On February 13, a meeting with the representatives of house owners’ associations and construction cooperatives (OSBBs/ZhBKs) took place at the Ministry of Finance to discuss further steps in the monetization of subsidies in Ukraine.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk, Deputy Minister of Finance Sergiy Marchenko, advisor to the Minister of Finance Yana Bugrimova and representatives of OSBBs/ZhBKs from all regions of Ukraine.
The participants of the meeting shared their thoughts on the implementation mechanism and terms of the monetization of subsidies.
The first stage of the reform of the system of payments for housing utilities – monetization of subsidies at the level of service providers – was launched in Ukraine on January 1, 2018.
Representatives of OSBBs/ZhBKs mentioned the main issues of dispute which arose after the launch of the new mechanism for the settlement of subsidies.
In the course of the discussion, all participants of the meeting expressed their support for the idea to monetize exemptions and subsidies and established a working group whose members represent the Civil Network “OPORA”, the Council of the Heads of OSBBs, the Civil Association “ZhBK/OSBB Association “Victoria”” and the Civil Organization “Development Association of OSBBs and ZhBKs “Suchasny Dim””.
The same day, the first meeting of the working group took place which was attented by Minister of Finance O. Danyliuk. During the meeting, a compromise solution was agreed to solve most issues of dispute previously mentioned by the representatives of OSBBs and ZhBKs.
The parties agreed to solve the problem regarding the accounts opened by OSBBs in 2018 at the State Treasury to receive funds related to their exemptions and subsidies. These accounts shall be closed.
Also, by the end of February 2018, the debt issue shall be completely settled including debts for the refund of exemptions and subsidies related to all contributions of OSBBs for 2017 which shall be re-paid to the bank accounts of OSBBs.
Also, the parties agreed that the monetization of subsidies shall be implemented starting from January 2018 and the respective funds shall be transferred to citizens starting from April 1, 2018, if the respective draft decree is approved by the Government.
The parties still partially disagree on the volume of the monetization. Representatives of OSBBs insist that monetization must be implemented for exemptions and subsidies calculated on all contributions (costs) paid by citizens who are OSBB members.
The Ministry of Finance proposes to implement monetization only for subsidies (without exemptions) and only for the expenses related to the maintenance of houses, buildings and house-related land plots as well as management of multi-apartment houses and disposal of household waste and liquid sewage.
The important point, however, is that the parties share a basically common view on the direction of the social welfare reform.
If the Government makes a basic decision, all issues of dispute will be solved through a positive dialogue.
“It is important that both the Ministry of Finance and OSBBs/ZhBKs have a common goal in this case, which is the real monetization of subsidies. We were together searching for the optimal design of the system for the funding of housing subsidies in Ukraine. And now we have found it. I thank everyone for the fruitful dialogue and for support which our proposal has received. At tomorrow’s meeting of the Government I will submit draft amendments to Decree No. 256 which will rectify most disputed issues which were mentioned by the representatives of OSBBs/ZhBKs. But you have to understand that the Ministry of Finance can’t sort out all disputable issues on its own, since we are not the only ones having powers to decide on this, especially in regard to the monetization of subsidies. I hope that the members of the Government will approve our compromise solutions”, the Minister of Finance said.