Poverty and Social Assistance System in Ukraine: Analysis and Policy Recommendations Liudmila Cherenko, Head, Department for Living Standards Assessment, Institute for Demography and Social Studies, National Academy of Science of Ukraine Current Social and Economic Trends • Slowdown of economic growth over the past few years (after the dropdown in 2005) and the first signs of a crisis in 2008. The beginning of 2009 marks the development of recession • Significant decrease in industrial output – in January-February 2009 67.2% compared to the same period in 2008. The biggest decrease in automotive industry, metallurgy, chemical industry, and light industry (automotive industry experienced twofold decrease in production) • Most hardly hit by the crisis are the cities where the main industry was among those affected the most • The labour market is shaky, but still relatively stable • The recession happens at the time of a difficult demographic situation – decrease in population and worsening of its age composition GDP and real incomes (% to previous year), 1999-2008 % 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Real GDP Real Incomes Number of Unemployed by ILO methodology and Registered Unemployed, 1999-2009, thousand 3000 by ILO methodology 2500 registered 2000 thousand 1500 1000 500 0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 • Data for 2009 are based on the forecast of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Impact of the Crisis on the Standards of Living of the Population • Reduction in real (and in some industries also nominal) wage. In 2008 an average wage increased by 18.6%; taking into account inflation of 22.3% the real wage decreased by 3% over the year, which did not happen since 1998. (In November 2008 nominal wage fell below the wage level of June, and in December was hardly above the level of October. Meanwhile consumer prices were constantly going up.) In January-February 2009 the real wage was 87% compared to the same period in 2008. • In some regions wage reduction was even more significant – in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhya oblasts the real wage in January-February 2009 was 82-83% compared to the same period in 2008. Western oblasts - Chenivtsi, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattya – were less affected (the indicator was above 90%). • Increase in wage arrears – in the beginning of 2009 the indicator was 168% compared to the same period in 2008. • Reduction in the purchasing power of the population (retail trade volume in January-February 2009 was 89.3% of that in the same period in 2008). Impact of the Crisis on the Living Standards of the Population (sociological data) • 90 % of Ukrainians have already felt the impact of the financial crisis, only 7% of respondents did not experience its influence. 80% referred to prices and house bills increase as the major consequence, 44% indicated the decrease in their income, 14% experienced delays with salaries and pensions payments, 11% lost their jobs • The majority of those who lost jobs are people of 18-29 (20%) and 40-49 (16%). The most vulnerable to loss of a job are people with secondary education (15%). (Sociological survey conducted on 6 - 15 February 2009) Forecast of the Impact of the Crisis on Social Situation • Ukrainians will feel the impact of the crisis to its full extent in the fall of 2009 • The deficit of resources to meet growing social commitments. For 2009 the size of minimal wage, pensions and social assistance benefits are fixed at their current level. This means that the incidence of absolute poverty will not decrease in 2009 – every fifth person will have an income less than the subsistence minimum (626 UAH / 75 USD). • Social insurance funds experience deficits. The most difficult situation is in the Pension Fund (according to some estimates its deficit amounts to 10 bln UAH/ 1.2 bln USD). Payments from these funds are very likely to be delayed. • Most likely, unemployment rate by the end of the year will be less than the forecast figure (8.5-9%) • There will be no massive return of labour migrants Forecast of the Impact of the Crisis on Household Poverty in 2009 • Incidence of relative poverty by the end of the year will stay at 28% level, since there will be no significant changes in income distribution • Compared to country averages, poverty risk will increase for the households with unemployed (especially in hholds with children); household with exclusively elderly people (older than 70); combined households both with children and elderly people. • Households with working adults and households with working parents and one child will be relatively better off. • Probably in 2009 the situation will be relatively better for families with children under 3 if birth grants are paid without delays. • In 2009 the gap will be smaller between the poverty indicators for rural and urban areas, because the financial crisis will affect urban population much more than rural. • Geographically, poverty indicators will reflect impact of the crisis on different branches of industry. Poverty Dynamics in 1999-2009 71.2 72.5 70 70.6 Уровень бедности, % 60 63.3 за Absolute 50.3 Poverty Level 50 абсолютним 38.2 criterion 40 33 критерием 27.8 26.4 27.2 27.2 26.6 27.3 27.1 28.1 27.3 27.5 28 30 20 26.4 25 25 10 за Relative 0 относительны criterion (estimate) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 (forecast) м критерием 2009 2008 Poverty in Households with Children: concentration of monetary, structural and non-monetary criteria Structural criterion – percentage of expenditure for food is more than 60% 22,8% 43,0 34,7 9,5% 14,9% 13,7% National criterion – 75% of median expenditure 30,1 Non-monetary criterion – 4 and more deprivations Poverty Measurement Based on Two Criteria (monetary and non-monetary) Type of Household Poverty incidence, % Households with 2 adults capable to work and 1 child 8,9 Households with 2 adults capable to work and 2 children 14,7 Households with 1 adult capable to work and 1 child 12,0 Households with incapable and capable to work adults and 1 child 11,9 Households with incapable and capable to work adults and 2 children 17,1 Families with many children 35,4 Poverty Measurement Based on Two Criteria (monetary and non-monetary) (continuation) Poverty incidence, Household Type % Households with 2 working adults and 1 child 4,8 Households with 1 working and 1 not working adults and 1 child 15,0 Households with 2 working adults and 2 children 11,5 Households with 1 working and 1 not working adults and 2 children 18,5 Households with 1 child and all non-working adults 17,0 Households with 2 children and all non-working adults 20,6 Social benefits by function in 2007, % of total expenditure on social benefits and as % of GDP % of total expenditure on social benefits % of GDP Old-age and survivors* 69,4 18,2 Sickness / Health care 15,9 4,2 Disability 3,6 0,9 Family/ children 5,2 1,4 Unemployment 2,0 0,5 Housing and social exclusion 4,0 1,0 *Old-age and survivors - include pensions, privileges and social assistance to pensioners and veterans of war and labour Expenditure for social programmes in 2004-2007 in prices of 2004, mln. UAH. 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 2004 год 2005 год 2006 год 2007 год Social privileges Housing subsidies Social assistance Proportion of Social Transfers within Households Income Targeted low Child income Other Housing Social Pensions benefits benefit benefits subsidies privileges Households with children 9,46 2,75 0,26 0,47 0,07 0,72 Households without children 31,76 0,00 0,01 0,54 0,17 1,44 All households 21,40 1,28 0,12 0,51 0,12 1,10 Impact of Social Assistance on Poverty (poverty incidence before and after receiving assistance) 35 29.5 30 28.2 26.5 26.5 27.4 До Уровень бедности, % Before 25 26.3 26.3 26.3 26.3 26.3 получения receiving Poverty level помощи assistance 20 15 После After 10 получения receiving помощи assistance 5 0 Child Пособия на Адресная Targeted Жилищная Социальные Housing Social Все виды All types of benefits low income детей помощь субсидия subsidies льготы privileges помощи assistance benefit бедным Incidence and depth of poverty of households with children before and after social assistance, % 32,9 23,3 льготы 33,5 Social 23,5 privileges 32,9 23,3 жилищные субсидии Housing 33 subsidies 23,4 адресная помощь Targeted low 32,9 23,3 бедным income benefit 33,1 23,9 32,9 пособия на детей Child benefits 23,3 36,3 26,6 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Уровень бедности, % Poverty Poverty Depth % Глубина бедности, incidence До социальной помощи После социальной помощи Before social assistance After social assistance Poverty incidence among households with children before and after transfers for different types of child benefits, % All все детские types of child 32,9 пособия benefits 36,3 После After social 32,9 социальной transfers на рождение Birth grant помощи 34,9 одиноким 32,9 Benefits to Before До матерям single mothers 33,3 social социальной transfers помощи 32,9 на детей до 3-х Benefits for лет children under 3 34,5 0 10 20 30 40 % Depth of poverty among households with children before and after transfers for different types of child benefits, % 23,3 Allвсе детские types of child пособия benefits 26,6 Послеsocial After 23,3 Birth grant социальной transfers на роджение помощи 25 одиноким 23,3 Before Benefits to До матерям single mothers 23,6 social социальной transfers помощи 23,3 на детей до 3-х Benefits for лет children under 3 23,9 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 % Number of recipients of the different types of child benefits in 2003-2007, families 1000000 800000 600000 400000 200000 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 birth grant benefit to single mothers benefit to children under 3 Recommendations on poverty reduction policies (improvement of a system of social assistance benefits) • Determine benefits to low income families as the main type of the targeted social assistance • Improve coverage of poor population by the program to support low income families (as a first step by 8%) • Improve adequacy of the benefit by raising the size of the benefit to low income families; respective increase in the cost of the program can be covered by improving effectiveness of the program itself and savings possible within other programs (first of all at expense of the social privileges programme) • Improve the methodology of calculation of the total household income to define eligibility for targeted assistance • Save funds within the program of housing subsidies through reducing the number of non-poor recipients (from 696 to 205 mln. UAH. per year based on 2007 data) • Improve targeting of the categorical benefits, free up funds for targeted social assistance • Radical reform of the social privileges programme, transfer of the resources saved to fund targeted programmes Modelling based on the size of the low income benefit Children from Adults able hholds with 1-2 Children from hholds Adults not able to to work children with 3+ children work Scenario 0 (basic)* 121* 170* 205* 170* Scenario 1 121 205 205 170 Scenario 2 121 420 420 170 Scenario 3 121 420 420 210 Scenario 4 210 420 420 210 Scenario 5 210 420 420 250 Scenario 6 250 420 420 420 Scenario 7 420 420 420 420 *Scenario 0 – based on the social guarantees set in 2007 420 UAH. – poverty line of extreme poverty in 2007 250 UAH. – 50% of subsistence minimum of 2007 Conditions of the model: • All eligible will receive the benefit; • Those not eligible will not receive the benefit. Evaluation of the Programme of Social Assistance to Low Income Families based on the size of benefits. Search for the optimal solution mln. UAH % 7000 100 Стоимость Cost of the программы, programme, 90 mln. 6000 thousand UAH/month 80 UAH\month Ошибка 5000 70 Error of включения, % Error of inclusion inclusion 60 4000 50 Ошибка Error of 3000 исключения, % exclusion 40 2000 30 Эффективность, Effectiveness, 20 % % 1000 10 0 0 Действенность, Efficiency Вариант 0 Вариант 2 Варіант 3 Варіант 4 Варіант 5 Варіант 6 Варіант 7 Вариант 1 % Considering different size of the benefit to low income families 1. Under conditions of a very limited fiscal space and impossibility to reform quickly the system of social assistance it is possible to choose the Scenario 1, which presupposes increase of the size of benefit only for children from hholds with 1-2 children up to the level of the benefit to children from 3+ children hholds. Under this condition the cost of the programme increases only by 7 mln. UAH per year, which can be saved at expense of improvement of the mechanisms of provision. In this case effectiveness of the programme stays the same, exclusion error is decreased 2. If more fiscal space becomes available or if the system of social assistance is reformed (and resources from other programmes are saved) it would be possible to proceed with Scenario 2, which presupposes increasing the size of benefit for all children up to the level of extreme poverty. The cost of the programme will increase to 560-580 mln. UAH. Per year. Under this scenario poor population will be better targeted – exclusion error will decrease by 7 pp (from 99 to 92%), whereas effectiveness will still be high – 75%. Recommendations for improvement of the social assistance benefits system Expand the programme to support low income families as the main poverty reduction instrument by: • Increase in the size of the benefit (as a first step only for children up to the level of extreme poverty) • Change differentiation of the size of the benefit for specific social and demographic groups, in particular, raise the size of the benefit for children compared to other population groups • Improve take up of the benefit by improving access to information about the programme for socially vulnerable groups of the population; • Lift restrictions on entry into the programme for vulnerable families with children; • Introduce differentiated size of the benefit depending on the regional differences in the cost of living. Cost of the Programme of Social Assistance to Low Income Families Depending on Methodology of Calculation of the Total Family Income, mln. UAH 2000 1800 1792,8 1600 1488,4 1400 1200 1000 800 575,4 666,4 600 400 139,1 200 Income based on Model income A Model income B Model income C the methodology 0 Real income • Options for calculating the total family income: • А – include net, not gross wage • В – include real income from land; • С – use net wage and income from land Recommendations for improvement of the social assistance benefits system Improvement of the methodology to calculate the total income of a family to determine eligibility to targeted assistance: • Use net income, free of tax and obligatory deductions (to insurance funds) • Improve methodology to calculate income from land as a main source of income for rural people Improvement of legislative basis and implementation mechanism in order to improve targeting and reduce error of inclusion. • Develop strict criteria to determine eligibility to the social benefit • Introduce new methods to determine incomes and limit entry into the programme of non-poor families. Modelling of options to limit eligibility to housing subsidies for non-poor population Deciles Eligible to subsidies under the Eligible to subsidies under the current rules, % of households in a current rules, but with the decile group limitation based on the income level, % households in a decile group 1 11,14 11,14 2 6,02 6,02 3 11,87 6,26 4 11,78 5 10,73 6 8,94 7 6,10 8 4,37 9 2,66 10 1,01 Total number of eligible to subsidies, % of all households 7,13 2,08 Programme cost, mln. UAH per year 696,5 205,3 Modelling coverage and cost of the housing subsidies programme under condition of tariffs increase and eligibility limitation 4 4 3.5 3.5 Increase in coverage, times Increase in the cost of the 3 programme, times 3 2.5 2.5 A 2 2 B A C B 1.5 C 1.5 1 1 0.5 0.5 0 0 Option 0 Option 1 Option 2 Option 0 Option 1 Option 2 • Option 0 – current conditions of the programme • Option 1 – increase in housing tariffs with all other conditions staying the same • Option 2 – increase in housing tariffs with simultaneous limitation of eligibility • Scenario А – tariffs increase by 40%, Scenario В – by 30%; Scenario С – by 20% Recommendations for improvement of the social assistance benefits system (continued) Narrow down the program of housing subsidies and reduce costs by: • Limiting eligibility to the program by the income level (of the one equal to subsistence minimum); • Making the rules stricter for entry into the program – elimination of the “system of exceptions”; • Cancelling regional differences in the subsidies’ size based on standard living space; Improve targeting and efficiency of the system of categorical benefits for children through better tracking of poverty profiles and taking into account the needs of different types of households with children. The views expressed in this document are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UNICEF. UNICEF does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this document and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use.