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84% of Ukrainians support populists – survey

An overwhelming majority of Ukrainians (84%) support populist politics, and 59% of citizens consider it realistic, according to a survey by the Center for Economic Strategy.

Among socio-demographic indicators only gender, population size, income, and education affect support populism

Despite widespread internet access, youth and elderly people are in fact equally support populist slogans and promises. Also, there is no significant difference in support of populism among residents of different regions: although East and West usually vote for different political forces, they are equally vulnerable to populist messages.

One of the main reasons for populist sentiment among Ukrainians is the lack of critical thinking in economic policy analysis by the population, as well as the lack of communication in the reform process in Ukraine.

A separate example from analysts

“The lowest level of support has a reduction in the retirement age – but even more than 70% of Ukrainians support this proposal. This relatively low level of support may be related to the fact that Ukraine has a relatively low retirement age compared to other European countries. Another possible explanation is that only a relatively small proportion of the population bypasses this issue to those who are about to retire. The well-being of pensioners who are already retired will not change from the retirement age, and those who are far from retirement may not think about their well-being in advance, ”the study said.

Explanation

The proposal to lower the retirement age is populistic. As with the minimum pension increase, it will increase the deficit of the Pension Fund and the State Budget, from which this deficit is covered. This will mean an increase in costs with a constant level of revenue. Under certain circumstances, such a policy can have worse consequences. Along with the increase in expenses, it is likely that the Pension Fund’s income will be reduced, as employees will retire early and accordingly cease to make contributions earlier. To counteract this, they sometimes propose to increase the contribution to the Pension Fund. However, this is likely to lead to wage shadowing, which counterbalances the effect of increased contributions.

The lowest level of support is the reduction of the retirement age – however, even more than 70% of Ukrainians support this proposal. This relatively low level of support may be related to the fact that Ukraine has a relatively low retirement age compared to other European countries. Another possible explanation is that only a relatively small proportion of the population bypasses this issue to those who are about to retire. The well-being of pensioners who are already retired will not change from the retirement age, and those who are far from retirement may not think about their well-being in advance.

In order to check  the level of support of selected populist policies among Ukrainians, the Center for Economic Strategy together with the international research company Kantar TNS in Ukraine conducted a representative survey of 2000 respondents.

Research results

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