Social Protection of War Veterans: Victory Day Farce and Everyday Profanation
Another scathing report from the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine concerns the ever-decreasing number of Veterans of the War who need more than just a token offering each year on Victory Day.
The Accounting Chamber states that their audit of how efficiently public funding was being spent on social protection for War veterans during 2009 and 2010 yet again showed that their recommendations had for years been ignored.
They point out that the numbers of War veterans are falling: if in 2006 there were 3.2 million, at the beginning of 2010 there remained only around 2.5 million. “And each time the Accounting Chamber auditors must acknowledge with pain that veterans remain unprotected because the laws are being ignored by officials”.
The Ministries of Finance and of Employment in 2009-2010 again failed to implement the Law on the Status of War Veterans and Guarantees for their Social Protection, with officials looking not at what the law says when making up the State Budget, but at financial possibilities. The Chamber also points to procrastination and inadequate management of funding.
The amounts for the annual one-off payment to War veterans was much lower than that foreseen in the laws on the Status of War Veterans and Guarantees for their Social Protection, and on Victims of Nazi Persecution.
As in previous years this led many veterans to seek redress through the courts. At present the amount which according to court rulings is owed to veterans was 147.1 million UAH, with this figure increasing each year. Sanatorium treatment was provided at 41% of the need in 2009, and 36.2$ in 2010.
“&0 years ago veterans fought the enemy, and now with their own country for their rights and concessions. The veterans are honoured on Victory Day, yet those are the crocodile tears of officials”, the Head of the Accounting Chamber Valentin Symonenko comments.
The problems are not only in under-funding. Money allocating for buying cars for disabled veterans, for example, was in part unspent and simply returned to the public coffers. On this occasion, the Accounting Chamber did not appear to be suggesting that money was being siphoned off, just mismanaged. One reason it suggests is that the lack of a reliable register of War veterans according to the categories which entitle them to social guarantees.
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