FTUEU holds protest action in Kyiv to oppose imposing of cash register machines

Protest action outside the Verkhovna Rada on June 30, 2015

In Ukraine, there have been protests of workers of small and medium businesses to oppose a so called “tax reform”. Free Trade Union of Entrepreneurs of Ukraine (FTUEU), StreetNet Affiliate, also actively participated in the protest actions.

A main idea is that it’s not the first time in the history of Ukraine’s independence, when the government is trying to introduce mandatory fiscal cash register machines for entrepreneurs working on a simplified system of taxation. It means that for those whom the law does not oblige to keep records and sets the amount of taxes regardless of the difference between revenues and expenditures. Thus simplified tax system, in fact, would become not available for most entrepreneurs who use it nowadays. They would have to spend a lot of money and their time on solving issues related to the tax system and cash register machines; they could be permanently under threat of heavy fines for minor mistakes, extortion by corrupt tax collectors and just unable to work due to technical problems with the cash register machines.

Entrepreneurs meet Members if Parliament at the entrance to the Ukrainian Parliament
Entrepreneurs and knowledgeable citizens, including some politicians, see in such an attempt to enter the following cash register machines, vested interests and anti-competitive collusion of big business, which has a strong lobby in the government and parliament of Ukraine.

On July 1, 2015 Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine voted for partial satisfaction of the entrepreneurs’ demands. Category of entrepreneurs, who will have to have the cash register machines, was significantly narrowed. Entrepreneurs are not really satisfied with such result, as instead of the Bill number 1718 another compromised draft Bill was adopted. But a lot of entrepreneurs can really relief now. Of course, the result could be much better if entrepreneurs’ activity was bigger.

Mr. Volynets, KVPU Chairman supports small entrepreneurs at the protest action

However, in Ukraine, where there is a war with a powerful enemy for independence, active people are focused on the defense, the army, and are very tired. Many entrepreneurs are forced to directly defend the country. Therefore it’s very difficult to mobilize people for any economic and social protest actions.

During the protest actions entrepreneurs held extensive discussions and even with involvement of authorities. Such valuable assistance for Ukrainian colleagues was provided by StreetNet International Secretary, UPTA representative, Cesar Garcia Arnal. In his conversation with the StreetNet Organizer for Europe and Asia Oksana Abboud and FTUEU Vice-President Leonid Tonkovyd, he described in details the working conditions of small business in Spain, as well as the positive and negative aspects of the use of cash register machines in holding businesses. Cesar’s information really helps Ukrainian entrepreneurs to defend normal and decent working conditions. Ukrainian officials declare that they are trying to create conditions similar to the European, often using the phraseology “corruption and anti-competitive decision”.

Mr. Zhurzhii, Member of Parliament, one of the main opponents, listening to entrepreneurs’ arguments during protest action