1 Jun 2022 21:14

Military spending accounts for three-quarters of Ukraine's budget - finance minister

MOSCOW. June 1 (Interfax) - Ukraine's monthly expenditures currently exceed 200 billion hryvni, and the lion's share is spent on the army and defense needs, while the budget only receives 54 billion to 56 billion a month in tax revenues, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said.

"The military budget makes up three-quarters of Ukraine's total budget, so we are spending approximately this amount," Marchenko said in an interview with Ukrainian journalists.

The state budget's expenditures amounted to 206 billion hryvni in April, with about 14 billion to 15 billion spent on internally displaced people and food programs, he said.

"This figure will be larger in May, about 16 billion to 17 billion hryvni. If we speak of spending on social welfare, it's 34 billion hryvni on average, 31 billion hryvni on education and medicine, and 5 billion hryvni on wages in the state-financed sector," he said.

The government has resorted to budget cuts several times and has reduced the state budget expenditures by 180 billion hryvni, Marchenko said. In particular, capital expenditures were cut by 72 billion hryvni, those on wages to employees of the state-financed sector by 20 billion hryvni, on social welfare by 22 billion hryvni, and other expenditures by 40 billion hryvni, he said.

"There is nothing more to cut," Marchenko said.

Speaking about expenditures on reconstruction, he said that it is possible to reconstruct only critical infrastructure in the Kharkiv, Sumy, Kyiv and Chernihiv regions.

"It should be discussed broad-scale reconstruction in particular with our partners," he said.

The state currently cannot afford to render budget support to t business except for providing conditions for preferential loans, he said.

"We currently collect 54 billion to 56 billion hryvni in taxes, and this covers only one-third of our expenditures. Certainly, this situation is involuntary, and our foreign partners understand this and are ready to listen to us. However, sooner or later, we should make things balanced," he said.

Marchenko reiterated that he does not favor amending the taxation system in any form, either through easing or tightening it.

"I believe the tax system should be stable, and all changes we are having now should turn to the way they were before February 24, 2022," he said.

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