Batkivshchyna Party leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko believes improving the investment climate and creating new jobs is an alternative to the government’s pension reform program, which calls for an increase in the retirement age.

"We need to create jobs, eliminate corruption in small business, and open up access to investment from around the world. Did you know that investment has dropped 40% in comparison with 2009 – a crisis year? We need to create special preferential tax systems for underdeveloped and depressed regions to attract investment," Yulia Tymoshenko said in an interview with the website

The former prime minister also pointed out that 5 to 7 million Ukrainians are currently working abroad. "They’re not earning money that will go to pay seniors that are currently getting a pension in Ukraine. The only option is to create a favorable investment climate and jobs, not raise the retirement age," she believes.

"Why during the crisis, in 2009, when the world economy was falling apart, did we have 40% more investment? These were real foreign investments, not from oligarchic clans out of Cyprus. Because we tried to take a step forward every day. If it wasn’t for the crisis, we’d have a very different country right now, a completely different Ukraine," Yulia Tymoshenko said, according to the official website.

In her opinion, the government’s plan to raise the retirement age is connected with the need to compensate RosUkrEnergo in accordance with the decision by the international arbitration court.

"46 billion hryvnias is being given illegally to RosUkrEnergo, but the 50% increase in gas prices for the population will bring in only 4.5 billion hryvnias. Do you see the difference?! Take for example the increase in retirement age – in a year this will save approximately 3.5 billion hryvnias. Compare this couple billion they’re saving with the 46 billion they’re simply giving away! In other words, if they didn’t take so much from the country, there would be no reason to increase the retirement age or raise rates for gas and heat," Yulia Tymoshenko said.

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