I saw this piece a couple of days ago in PolitNavigator. Posted by Vladimir Raichenko from Kiev, and mostly quoting a woman named Lyubov Pankratova, an official of the Agrarian Union of Ukraine.
According to Pankratova, more and more of the Ukrainian’s average salary has to go to buy food.
32 staple products going into the Ukrainian consumer’s basket, cost around 750 hryvnas today, whereas the bare minimum living wage in Ukraine does not exceed 1200 hryvnas. According to Pankratova, if one adds in such products as fish and fruits, which the government considers essential to nutrition, then the cost of the basket goes up to 850 hryvnas. In developed countries such the U.S., food costs constitute only a third of the consumer basket. In Ukraine, two-thirds. She adds that the products in the calculated basket are are also quite modest, and do not include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The calculation does not allow for eating out in restaurants. If one were to include more meat, fish and vegetables, then the cost of the basket would rise to 1000 hryvnas. Clearly, a large portion of the average Ukrainian’s salary is going just for food, and not even for high-quality food, just the type of food required for survival. Pankratova concludes:
“This is the picture we get today, which is not a pretty one. We see that this is impossible, because people also have communal fees to pay, travel expenses to commute to work, not even mentioning the fact that people need to buy, say, shoes. We can totally understand what is going on with the average citizen. They are enduring a rather deplenished ration (of food), which does not even include meat and vegetables. One must remark, that nowadays the average layers of the population cannot buy fish, which is mainly an import.”