The Verkhovna Rada is still occupied with amendments to the bill on land reform and can address other issues only during special plenary sessions. This Tuesday there were two such sessions and at the first of them MPs decided to allocate ₴20 bln for the mortgage relief program. Meanwhile, the Cabinet issued a resolution to make the Ministry of Health spend more money on vaccine procurement and the President submitted a draft bill to liquidate the Kyiv District Administrative Court and create a new court in its stead.
Liquidation of the Kyiv District Administrative Court (draft bill #5369)
Sponsor: the President.
Who is affected: the Kyiv District Administrative Court and government bodies located in Kyiv.
Draft bill in a nutshell:
- liquidates the Kyiv District Administrative Court (KDAC)
- creates the Kyiv City District Administrative Court
- for the transition period (until the KDAC is liquidated and the KCDAC is established), cases under the jurisdiction of the KDAC are supposed to be transferred to the Kyiv District Administrative Court — trial administrative court of Kyiv oblast.
What is right: the draft bill was prepared in compliance with the Constitution and within the authority of the President. It provides a legitimate solution to the problem with corruption scandals involving the KDAC via a relaunch of the administrative judiciary in Kyiv city.
What is wrong: if the case of liquidation of the KDAC is taken to the Constitutional Court, the chances are high that the Court will rule that in re the bill only renames the KDAC and does not liquidate it. In a similar case of 2018, the Constitutional Court ruled that liquidation of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and creation of the Supreme Court in its stead do not affect functions of the body and are de facto a renaming. In its conclusion, the Constitutional Court pointed out that judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine have to be transferred to the new court. In other words, there is a risk that all judges of the KDAC will be transferred to the new court too.
Additional information: liquidation of the court does not entail dismissal of the KDAC’s judges. According to the procedure, they should be transferred to other courts and have the right to resign if they do not want a transfer. Therefore, the bill does not solve the problem with the judges suspected of corruption and other violations.
Alternative solution: a reform of the Higher Council of Justice is the best way to deal with judges of doubtful reputation without resorting to extraordinary measures like the liquidation of the KDAC.
State mortgage assistance (draft bill #5308)
Decision-maker: the Verkhovna Rada.
Voted for the bill: 263 MPs total. Servant of the People — 215, For the Future — 11, Trust, — 18, Holos — 11, independents — 8.
Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, the Ministry of Finance, the State Mortgage Institution, and the PJSC Ukrainian financial housing company.
Draft bill in a nutshell:
- to fund the mortgage relief program, the budget deficit of 2021 will be increased by ₴20 bln and amount to ₴2,564 bln. The Ministry of Finance will issue extra domestic government bonds
- the PJSC Ukrainian financial housing company will be allowed to incorporate the State Mortgage Institution.
What is wrong:
- budget deficit of 2021 is dangerously large even without the extra load of mortgage programs
- the national debt is dangerously large.
Under the circumstances — the pandemic and Russian preparations for large-scale aggression, — the state cannot afford to issue government bonds to launch a mortgage relief program.
Funding for procuring vaccines against COVID-19 (Cabinet resolution #338, of April 14, 2021)
Decision-maker: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: people living in Ukraine and the Ministry of Health.
Resolution in a nutshell:
- ₴6.5 bln previously allocated for the medical services program will be redirected on procuring vaccines against the COVID-19
- the Ministry of Finance is ordered to find the money for renewal of the medical services program within 3 months.
What is right: the Government spends funding on vaccine procurement in an attempt to speed up vaccination in Ukraine.
What is wrong: the Cabinet cuts funding for medical services that the population needs. The decision will also increase national debt since the state does not have money to renew the medical services program from the government budget.
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