Yanukovych orders government to raise pensions (updated)

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March 7, 2012, 10:58 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to conduct a gradual recalculation of pensions, and raise the pensions of nine million retirees who retired before 2008 by at least 100 per month, starting from May 1, 2012. The head of state announced this on Wednesday at an extended Cabinet of Ministers meeting dedicated to the new social initiatives of the authorities.

Yanukovych also proposed that the long service payment to servicemen be increased by Hr 165 per month and the size of payments to one million war participants be raised by 30-50%.

He said that it was also necessary to increase one-time assistance to disabled veterans to Hr 1,720-2,200 by Victory Day.

"I think that it's time to publicly assume commitments regarding a significant increase in social standards for the most vulnerable groups. Let's start with those most in need and those who cannot take care of themselves," Yanukovych said.

He said that the Ukrainian authorities raised social standards in the last two years. However, he noted that nearly four million Ukrainian retirees currently received a pension of Hr 870, which is actually lower than the living wage.

"I think that it's hard for everyone present in this room to imagine how a person can live on this money for a month, especially if a retiree is lonely or sick," Yanukovych said, while addressing government members.
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