Zelensky urges to reduce heating tariffs after his rating plunges

After his approval rating took a 12-point hit in one month, President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to go into a damage-control mode. 

On Nov. 30, Zelensky urged the government to find a way to cut the heating tariffs for Ukrainian households – and moreover, to do it immediately.  

Utility tariffs, especially prices for gas and central heating, are among the most sensitive topics for Ukrainians. According to a Nov. 27 poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, 14 percent of Ukrainians spend more than half of their income on utilities.

The same poll showed that Zelensky’s approval rating went from 64 to 52 percent in November, showing a 12-point fall in one month. It is a 21-point fall from his highest approval rating of 73 percent in September. He isn’t the only one taking a hit. The approval rating of the Cabinet of Ministers also went down by 7 points in November, going from 44 to 37 percent.

In the same poll, 75 percent of Ukrainians said that the government hasn’t been successful with reducing household utility tariffs. Zelensky responded to it on Nov. 30, posting a video from a meeting with top officials where they discuss heating tariffs.

In the five-minute video, Zelensky presides over a meeting with Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, the head of Zelensky’s administration Andriy Bohdan, his deputy Yulia Kovaliv, Energy Minister Oleksiy Orzhel, and energy expert Yevhen Chervyachenko. 

In the video, Honcharuk pitches to Zelensky his plan to reduce the heating tariffs by the winter of 2020-2021, while Zelensky demands it is done this December.

“At the end of December people should receive the bills for heating with already reduced tariffs,” Zelensky says in the video. 

Others weren’t sure it was possible.

Chervyachenko is shown saying it is impossible to change tariffs until May 2020 without changing the law, as there are some old contracts valid until that time.  

Honcharuk was more optimistic, saying that the government drafted “a short bill” that would reduce the heating prices by 10-15 percent this winter. 

“We have a lower gas price, and the tariff is 80 percent gas price,” Honcharuk says. “If the price is lower, the tariff should be lower too, I must say. A simple idea.” 

The video revealed nothing else about this draft law. Honcharuk also noted that this winter, heating tariffs for Ukrainians will not rise, as in the last years, adding that in this regard, they have “protected the consumer.”

He also noted that the new draft law on tariff reduction should be registered on behalf of the president, as it was one of his promises to the people.

Kovaliv was not as optimistic as Honcharuk, saying that the tariff changes should be discussed with the regulator in charge of it, referring to the National Regulatory Commission for Energy and Utilities. 

“It is not clear if it (the new draft law) would lead to lower tariffs,” Kovaliv said. 

(c) KyivPost

9 comments

  • You want your ratings to rise Ze? You can do it at a stroke, and nobody will care about the price of gas. Just remember your election promise to eradicate corruption in Ukraine.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Masking the price of gas will not remedy the situation, nor will trying to subsidize the cost which will under fund another part of the government. This is an opening for Zelensky to name the enemy and a big reason for expensive gas…Muskovy and the gas oligarchs.

      Liked by 4 people

      • If he capitulates to Putin at this hot air meeting in France, he can throw his ratings in the trash can. He’ll have enough to worry about on his own doorstep.

        Liked by 4 people

  • Stealing Yulia’s election promise only proves how desperate this clown already is! He should deport Kolomoisky, that would be much more applauded…

    Liked by 2 people

  • DONETSK, December 1. /TASS/. Two servicemen of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) were killed and one more was wounded in sniper fire from the Ukrainian side, the Donetsk News Agency reported on Sunday citing the republic’s defense ministry.

    Liked by 3 people

  • Zelensky just doesn’t cut it as president. Simply raising the gas price is not a viable way to make the country more energy independent.
    This is what needs to be done ASAP: Ukraine has lots of work cut out for itself. And, I don’t mean only fighting corruption and the mafia state to its east. No, a big problem is the country’s energy system. That is the highly inefficient energy level of the country’s housing in conjunction with imported energy resources. Now is the time to begin with measures that will increase levels of insulation of not only new housing projects but to reequip old structures with more insulation in conjunction to increase the production of the country’s own energy resources. This will require much money, work and time but in the end, Ukraine will be much more fit for the future, for the nation as a whole and for its individuals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My whole house is insulated. The walls, floors and ceiling, it was expensive, but will work out cheaper in the long run. It’s -5 outside now, the heating on it’s lowest setting, after a few hours I have to turn it off, it gets too warm. The problem in Ukraine, nobody can see outside the box. They still suffer from the Soviet disease, everything will be great in the future, look at our glorious past. Nobody is interested in today.

      Like

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