Old news by now, the finance minister's announcement about limiting newborn financial aid to those whose joint family income is less than 5,000 hryvnias ($1,000) a month - I guess they've reversed that decision now, Yanukovych has, earning a few popularity points for nothing, I'm sure.
What I find really interesting about it is the statistics:
Only about 5 percent of Ukrainian families have income of more than $1,000 a month. Finance minister calls these people 'rich.' The remaining 95 percent live on less than this.
This is just too fucking scary.
Of course, there's a fair number of people who don't bother declaring their incomes - and with the government's mood swings, it's probably the right thing to do, still. Unfortunately. It must hurt to suddenly find out that while you were helping the schmucks buy their fancy cars on your taxes, the schmucks have labeled you 'rich' and decided to save $1,700 (the newborn aid) on you, but not on your neighbor, who is getting paid under the table.
Another figure: in 2007, Ukraine is to have 453,800 new kids born. Not sure if it's a lot or not, and am too lazy to search for the birth/death ratio now.
Somewhat off-topic, but when we talked about the landlady's alcoholic husband, she said he hasn't had a job in 13 years, didn't want to have one, was saying that he was done working, kept saying it since he lost his savings after perestroika. I don't know what he did during the Soviet times - could have been the army... Even though I can't make myself feel sorry for the asshole, after watching him up close for three months, it's still sad to see how one can become demoralized and drag the rest of the family way down...