During the first seven months of 2018, the huge wage arrears for the Ukrainians increased by another 365.2 million hryvnia and are now 2.73 billion. This is the worst indicator since 2002. According to Deputy Chairman of the Opposition Bloc Serhiy Lovochkin, the current authorities only pretend they are working on paying of wage arrears off to the Ukrainians, while in reality they government is aggravating it. “Despite the fact that the government declared the elimination of wage arrears as one of its main priorities this year, debts continue to grow. OVer seven months they increased by 365.2 million. By August 1, the total amount earned by the Ukrainians and unpaid to them already amounted to 2.73 billion hryvnia. This is the worst indicator not only of the last decade – there has been no such a debt since the beginning of 2002. The problem is not that there is no money, the problem is in the priorities of the current authorities: putting the financing of the law enforcement agencies first, current officials ignore the needs of industry, healthcare and education,” Serhiy Lovochkin stated. The politician cited data that 79.4% of the total debt was concentrated in industry, primarily in the processing industry (1310.9 million hryvnia) and mining ( 562.1 million). The problem mostly relates to the South-East of the country, where over 75% of wage arrears are concentrated. Serhiy Lovochkin recalled that the Opposition Bloc was systematically monitoring the repayment of wage arrears, and he personally repeatedly sent requests and proposals to the government to prevent the catastrophic scale of the problem: “More than half a billion hryvnias must be payed to miners. This debt could have already been paid, since in July the Opposition Bloc made the parliament voting for the law on allocating 1.4 billion hryvnias to support the coal industry. But due to the fault of the current officials, the law entered into force only at the end of August, and even the current document has not yet been implemented,” he said. According to the MP, a similar situation has developed with education and health. These two industries have become absolute leaders in terms of debt growth since the beginning of the year. In the first 7 months of 2018, the wage arrears in the sphere of health care and the provision of social assistance increased by 85%, in the education system – almost 2.4 times. “Adopting the “reform” of education and medicine, the authorities promised teachers and doctors the growth of wages at times: up to 18 thousand hryvnia in medicine and up to 7-8 thousand hryvnia in education. But they do not get even current wages. The Opposition Bloc is convinced that such a policy should be changed – along with those who conduct it,” the MP stated. According to Serhiy Lovochkin, payment of wage arrears should be a priority of the government and requires systemic steps. “However, it is even more important to create conditions under which all salaries and social payments are not only paid on time, but also regularly raised. The Opposition Bloc unites people who share such an approach,” the politician summed up.