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02 Jul. 2023


Pensions, fuel prices, water and electricity tariffs, end of quarantine: what will change in July



Pensions, fuel prices, water and electricity tariffs, end of quarantine: what will change in July

Prices and tariffs are expected to rise in July. Many changes will affect finance and business. Pension increases, end of the pandemic, and ban on e-cigarettes: find out what Ukrainians can expect

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Fuel prices are expected to increase in the middle of the summer. The VAT reduction and zero excise tax on fuel introduced during the war will be canceled on July 1. The same month will also see some other equally important changes, such as an increase in water prices, the lifting of the coronavirus quarantine, and an increase in pension payments. In addition, the advertising and sale of vapes and e-cigarettes will be completely banned.

Read more about the changes that await Ukrainian citizens in the article below.

Cancellation of quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has announced a decision: Ukraine will lift the quarantine and state of emergency imposed two years ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the course of three years and three months, which is how long the quarantine lasted, the authorities have developed a response system that will be useful during the current war against the terrorist state.

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine reported that from the beginning of the pandemic in the country until May 2023, more than 5.5 million cases of the virus were confirmed, including about 416,000 children. However, experts suggest that the actual number of people affected is several times higher, as the Ministry of Health only takes into account official, i.e., registered cases.

The disease has killed 112,000 people, including 89 children and 1,256 healthcare workers, the ministry reports.

The Ministry of Health emphasizes that COVID-19 continues to pose a threat. However, vaccination of the population has been effective and has reduced hospitalization and mortality rates.

Water prices will increase by a third (updated)

The National Commission for State Regulation in Energy and Public Services has decided to raise tariffs for sewage and cold water starting in early July. This decision was made two days before the beginning of July.

According to the new bill, tariffs will increase by an average of 32%. A cubic meter of water will now cost 11 hryvnias more than in June. But in Vinnytsia, for example, the price has increased even more. Water bills will increase by 18 hryvnias.

The National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission explained that the price increase is due to an increase in electricity tariffs. The updated tariffs were set for more than 33 water utilities, including Kyiv and regional and large cities. These changes also affected Ukrzaliznytsia.

This may not be the last increase in cold water prices. Another price increase is scheduled for September 1, but not for all consumers.

According to recent reports, the water price increase has been canceled. The Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal promised Ukrainians that water and sewerage tariffs would not be raised until the end of the war, despite the regulator's decision to revise them.

Fuel price hike

Fuel prices are expected to rise in July as the government wants to return taxes on gasoline, diesel, and liquefied natural gas to pre-war levels.

Fuel prices skyrocketed after russian missiles destroyed some refineries and storage facilities in 2022. In an attempt to stabilize the situation, the authorities reduced the excise tax to zero and almost tripled the VAT on fuel.

However, the government decided to partially refund the excise taxes and in September 2022, the Parliament passed a law extending this benefit until the end of martial law, at the latest until July 1, 2023.

The martial law was not lifted, and no exemptions were granted. The excise duty on gasoline and diesel fuel will increase from EUR 100 per 1000 liters to EUR 213.5 and EUR 139.5 per 1000 liters, respectively.

As a result, according to various forecasts, the price of gasoline will increase by UAH 7–11 per liter, diesel fuel by about UAH 8, and liquefied gas will rise by UAH 3.

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Ban on flavored e-cigarettes and vapes 

The ban on advertising smoking e-cigarettes in Ukraine, including tobacco-heated cigarettes, comes into effect on July 11. The advertising taboo applies to all types of media, including the Internet, social media, public transportation, and public events.

Another important innovation is the ban on the sale of flavored cigarettes and e-liquids. Despite the ban, teenagers and young people prefer flavored e-cigarettes.

The fine in the case of a violation is UAH 30 thousand, and for each subsequent violation - UAH 50 thousand. In addition, similar to the general smoking ban, the law prohibits the use of heated tobacco products in all public places and businesses.

Pension indexation

Also, starting July 1, various categories of citizens will receive pension increases. As announced by the government, special pensions have not changed for quite some time. This time, pensioners will be able to choose whether they prefer to receive a social pension or an old-age pension.

The pensions will be indexed to current payments. Thus, from one hundred to one and a half thousand hryvnias will be added. Pensions for local government officials, academics, former and current civil servants, and members of parliament will increase by about 20 percent. This means that citizens from these categories, who currently receive much higher pensions than most Ukrainian pensioners, will see changes in their pensions.

This is the third change that will take place in 2023. The government increased pensions for many pensioners in March and for employees in April.

Monitoring of Ukrainians' bank accounts abroad has been strengthened

Starting in July 2023, tax authorities will receive information on foreign financial accounts of Ukrainians automatically. It is through the international reporting and verification system CRS that the tax authorities have an important tool for detecting fraud in the declaration of foreign income. More than 110 countries exchange financial information about their citizens and companies, as does Ukraine. However, in Ukraine, this was done on request. After amendments are made to the current legislation in our country, the tax authorities will have automatic access to all accounts.

For Ukrainians who were forced to leave for a foreign country to escape the war, it all depends on whether the person is a resident of another country. Otherwise, according to lawyers, the tax authorities lose the grounds for such an audit.

As far away from russia as possible: the law on decolonization

The elimination of symbols, images and monuments associated with russia will begin on July 27. On this day, the law on decolonization will come into force.

The official title of the law is "On Condemnation and Prohibition of Propaganda of russian Imperial Policy in Ukraine and Decolonization of Place Names." The names of towns and villages, streets and squares, institutions and organizations associated with the aggressor country will be permanently changed.

Before this law came into force, local authorities were responsible for removing any monuments or names of russian imperial policy from public space, according to the Institute of National Memory. Now this issue has reached the state level and the law establishes all the requirements and procedures.

Earlier, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the laws "On the Prohibition of Propaganda of the russian-nazi Totalitarian Regime," "On Honoring the Memory of Fighters for the Independence of Ukraine," and "On the Use of racist Ideology by the Federal Political System of russia."

We remind you! For Ukrainians, a good foreign vacation consists of several criteria: quality service, beautiful nature, a delicious buffet and the absence of citizens of a terrorist state. Find out where Ukrainians can spend a relaxing vacation this year here.

Photo: Getty Images

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