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Main Myths about Social Payments to Internally Displaced Persons


In the Ukrainian society several myths are cultivated nowadays, in the guise of which the policy of discrimination against internally displaced persons is carried out. And these myths fail to stand any tests.

Myth 1. No taxes go into the budget of Ukraine from the occupied territories, so there are no budget obligations owed to them.

In fact, the transport vehicles with the products and raw materials go through the front lines on a regular basis, and, for the most part, not as smuggling but with the official authorization by the SBU security service.

Taxes of more than 19 billion USD were paid only in 2014. About 52% of them fall upon the companies that are on the side beyond our control. It’s the data from the fiscal service. It’s the official data” (Liga.Business website on 04/22/2015).

That's the official information - for 6 months of 2015: 6.8 billion hryvnias went into the state budget from the Donetsk region, 52% of which from the occupied territory” (Glavcom website, 04/08/2015).

Myth 2: The entire population of the Donbas is the separatists, so they do not deserve any social payments.

The peculiar feature about the law-governed state is that all citizens, even serial maniacs or embezzlers, have a right to social payments. The exception is the court's decision on each individual citizen. There can be no unfounded discrimination according to the place of residence and no individual order or law can change that. Because: The Constitution of Ukraine. Article 24. Citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before the law.

There shall be no privileges or restrictions based on race, color of skin, political, religious and other beliefs, sex, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, linguistic or other characteristics.

Myth 3. The Donbas is a beneficiary region: it should receive as much as it contributes to the budget.

In Ukraine, the vast majority of regions are beneficiary. And not always dependence on transfers from the budget reflects their real economic contribution. For example, the city of Kyiv is the largest taxpayer, although it produces almost nothing. However, registration of a huge number of enterprises in Kyiv allows the city to be a major budget contributor, despite the fact that real people and real capacity to create goods are hundreds of kilometers away.

The peculiarities of taxation of large taxpayers, which transfer the bulk of revenues to the budget, should also be taken into account. In Ukraine, there are 8 offices to work with large taxpayers, what is significantly less than the number of regions. It means that many of the large taxpayers pay taxes by default not where they are located.

Therefore, dependence of any region on transfers from the budget does not really mean anything in terms of its contribution to the economy of Ukraine. And it makes no sense even to compare the official tax revenues with transfers from the budget and subventions. Serious economists do not use such phrases as “Region X feeds Ukraine” or “Region X is fed by Ukraine”; it is purview of populists or economically illiterate people. In the body, there are no donor organs or recipient organs. It is possible to remove stomach or intestines from the body, but it’s the whole body that will become a lot worse. So will any nation’s economy.

Myth 4. According to the laws of Ukraine, it is necessary to pay pensions only to those pensioners who live in the territory under control.

Despite the fact that some ministers of Ukraine recognize the DNR and LNR as individual states, after all, according to the Ukrainian legislation it is not so. According to the legislation, citizens of Ukraine can receive their pension where it is convenient for them. The Law of Ukraine “On pension provision”. Article 85. Payment of pensions. Pensions are paid without regard to the received earnings (profits) at the residence place of pensioners, regardless of residence registration.

So receiving a pension onto the payment card issued by the branch of the Ukrainian bank and registered by the department of the pension fund in the controlled area is completely legal. If the pensioners have lived at least one day in the city, where they have got a pension card, then the law is fully complied with. And how they distribute the time of residence between different cities of Ukraine is their private matter.

The Civil Code of Ukraine. Article 29. Residence Place of a Natural Person.
1. Residential building, apartment, any other premises suitable for residing therein (i.e. hostel, hotel, etc.) located in the appropriate place where the natural person resides constantly, dominantly or temporary shall be deemed a place of residence of a natural person.
6. A natural person may have several places of residence.

Thus, the fact that the state has failed to protect its territories from occupation does not give some of its members the right to discriminate against citizens of Ukraine according to the place of their residence.

See also:

Stolen future of Ukraine?

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