KYIV, Ukraine, June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Ukrainian state Budget of 2012 was recognized as the most socially-oriented budgets in the country's history. The 2013 agenda for social reforms, however, is expected to further tackle social issues, including the modernization of labor market and providing better support to families with children. This and other statements were made by the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in his annual address to the Vekhovna Rada, Ukrainian parliament.
Notably, the 2012 budget expenditures on spiritual and physical development exceeded the 2011 rates by 43.3 percent, on healthcare and education - by 11.1 percent, on social protection and social security - by 18.4 percent.
Moreover, in 2012 the number of employed persons 15-70 years of age increased by over 30 thousand and amounted to 20,354.3 thousand; thus the employment level increased from 59.2 to 59.7 percent. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 75.5 thousand and amounted to 1657.2 thousand people. Higher unemployment levels, however, were observed among 25-29 age group and those aged 50-59 years. In December 2012 the minimum wage equaled 34 percent of the average wage, while in Central Europe this bar is currently set at 45-60 percent.
Last year's consistent policy also helped upgrade social protection of families and children. Ensuring social support for vulnerable citizens, optimization of social welfare and services was among the 2012 achievements. In 2013 special attention will be given to children with special needs, for their education and development require significant effort and expense. Ukrainian government is also currently working on providing affordable housing.
The social and economic changes brought about the development of dynamic civil society in Ukraine. The new mechanism to ensure transparency of the government's activity as well as accountability of state servants was incorporated in the Law on Access to Public Information. Civil society is also playing an active role in combating corruption in Ukraine.
Ukrainian NGOs support and promote European integration, which adds to the progress in EU-Ukraine negotiations on visa liberalization. The further economic and social development of Ukraine is inseparably linked to the issue of European integration, concluded President Yanukovych during his earlier meeting with Vice-President of the European Parliament Jacek Protasiewicz.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine