Friday, September 15 2017 23:18 EEST
Ukraine
Ukraine's government sends 2018 budget to parliament: Key benchmarks
Ukraine's, Government,  Sends,  2018,  Budget, Parliament, Key,  Benchmarks

Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers has approved a draft national budget for 2018, which has been tabled in parliament, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

A respective decision was unanimously passed by the government at a meeting on Friday, September 15.

"We are now sending a draft budget to the parliament. I guess some politicians will start criticizing it immediately today. While they are criticizing, we'll be building kindergartens and roads. I'm calling on Ukrainians to do their thing and make their lives better, without listening to those who want to discourage them. No discouraging, only moving forward," Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman commented on the decision.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk told reporters after the government's meeting that expected economic growth next year would help to finance the government's key priorities.

"Economic growth is projected at 3% next year. We would like it to be a bit higher, but this is also good enough. This gives us the necessary resource. Also, there really is an increase in spending in key areas. We don't waste money on minor things. Then we can completely finance and protect health care, and [conduct] education reform and pension reform," Danyliuk said.

As UNIAN reported, the government's draft budget for 2018 envisages an increase in Ukraine's GDP by 3%, 7% inflation and a budget deficit at 2.4% of GDP.

According to the government's estimates, budget revenue in 2018 is expected to grow by 15% compared with 2017, to UAH 1.118 trillion. 

Budget expenditures on security and defense will also grow by 15%, to UAH 164.9 billion. 

Spending on social assistance will grow by 4%, to UAH 122.7 billion, including UAH 55 billion on municipal subsidies.

Spending on social assistance will grow by 4%, to UAH 122.7 billion, including UAH 55 billion on municipal subsidies. 

The government also plans to boost government support for farmers by 16% to UAH 7.3 billion. Health care financing in 2018 will grow by 10%, to UAH 112.5 billion, funds to be allocated for road infrastructure will increase by 37%, to UAH 44 billion, for education by 18%, to UAH 217.5 billion, science by 23%, to UAH 7.9 billion. 

The growth of local budgets' resources, taking into account budget transfers, is projected in the draft budget at 32%, to UAH 521 billion, and the growth of incomes of local budgets at 36%, to UAH 250.4 billion. 

The minimum wage, according to the draft budget, will grow by 16%, to UAH 3,723 per month per capita. The forex rate of the hryvnia set against the U.S. dollar as of September 15 was UAH 26.162016.

Earlier: EC to assess how Ukraine fulfills visa-free provisions

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