Mechanisms of calculation of subsistence minimum in Ukraine and abroad

Keywords: subsistence minimum, basic social standards, consumer basket, minimum wage, minimum hourly wage, poverty line, normative and relative method of calculation


This article covers the results of a theoretical analysis of subsistence minimum calculation as the basic social standard in Ukraine and abroad. According to Ukrainian Law, the subsistence minimum is a value sufficient to ensure the proper functioning of the human body, maintain its health that includes a minimum set of food products, non-food items, and services necessary to satisfy basic social and cultural needs of each person. In numerous countries, subsistence minimum depends on the age of a person with the view to different needs.

The mechanism of subsistence minimum calculation is stipulated in Ukrainian legislative acts. Each year, the Ukrainian Parliament establishes a new amount of subsistence level in the Law on the budget of Ukraine. Failure to adhere to the procedure of the subsistence minimum calculation leads to a difference in the declared and actual subsistence minimum. Ukrainian courts consider the number of cases relating to a violation of the above-mentioned procedure. The problem of insufficient subsistence minimum has led to the initiative on reforming this sphere.

This article also presents the results of analyzing the phenomenon of subsistence minimum in different countries. It has been found that a relative method of subsistence minimum calculation is used by determining median income in the United States and the United Kingdom. The governments adopt annual minimum wage to be paid for each of those who work. Trade unions contribute significantly to raising and fixing subsistence minimum and minimum wage in these countries that is a great example of a positive impact initiated by representatives of civil society. In Estonia and Slovakia, similarly to Ukraine, the subsistence level is set by the normative method - by setting the cost of living through a consumer basket. The study revealed that it is highly important to found the level of subsistence minimum on the real purchasing power of the population, which would be able to provide a decent standard of living for all.


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How to Cite
Lytvynenko, M. (2020). Mechanisms of calculation of subsistence minimum in Ukraine and abroad. Law Review of Kyiv University of Law, (1), 426-430.