Bonus remuneration for the military

19 May 2023
Bonus remuneration for the military
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Draft bill #9300 of May 15, 2023 

Cosponsors: a group of MPs from the Batkivshchyna faction with Yuliia Tymoshenko as the first signatory 

Who is affected: members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military units, their family members, and the Ministry of Finance 

Summary of the bill: under martial law, the following bonus remunerations will be provided: 

  • 16 minimum wages (over ₴107 thousand) for those who directly participate in combat operations — fight off the aggression in combat areas: 
    • by conducting combat operations on the contact line with the enemy 
    • by detecting enemy air targets 
    • by conducting flights in combat operation areas or engaging in aerial combat 
    • by striking the enemy as part of missile or artillery units 
  • at least 9 minimum wages (over ₴60 thousand) for those who carry out combat tasks as part of a military command, a staff group of tactical unit or a tactical staff group, leading military units that are directly engaged in repelling the enemy. The list of these units will be approved by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces or the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces; 
  • at least 5 minimum wages (over ₴33 thousand) for those involved in combat operations: 
    • as part of the active defense forces or reserve troops of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces 
    • as part of anti-aircraft protection units or units defending critical infrastructure 
    • as part of support groups of the active defense forces operating in combat areas 
  • the bonuses will be still paid for three months after martial law ends. 

What is right: better remuneration for Ukrainian soldiers. 

What is wrong: 

  • the draft bill was submitted after the Parliament had already voted on an amendment to return a bonus of ₴30 thousand for the military, which was criticized both in the Parliament and by the International Monetary Fund; 
  • funds for the bonuses are supposed to be obtained by countering VAT evasion corruption schemes, strengthening operational control measures at customs, and fighting the shadow economy. However, the bill does not propose any particular steps on how it could be done. Moreover, even if the proposed steps were successful, there will still be not enough money to provide the bonuses 
  • top security and defense officials do not support a significant increase in expenditures without appropriate financial backing: the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Chief of General Staff, the Head of the State Border Service, and the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine. 

Alternative solution: to participate in the working group composed of MPs and representatives of the military that is looking for ways to increase remuneration for the defenders of Ukraine and jointly develop a feasible solution to the problem.