Every sixth citizen is unable to feed his family

More than 12 million able-bodied citizens unable to provide for themselves and their loved ones with everything necessary for a decent life and, in fact, is below the poverty line. In addition, more than half of Russians believe that close to poverty. These data lead Analytical center for the government and the Fund “Public opinion”. Attempts by the authorities to change the situation look convincing. To equalize the minimum wage and a living wage the government is going of 2019, but experts believe that it does not help to strengthen the financial position of the poor.


photo: Dmitry Katerinov

It seems that the Russian economy in the current year, out of the crisis, and money for the life of the citizens continues sorely missed. According to Rosstat, which leads the Analytical center for the government of the Russian Federation, the total income for nearly 17% of the working population of Russia, if they are spread evenly over all members of the family, do not reach the subsistence level.

Thus, according to the latest survey of Fund “Public opinion” (FOM), more than half of inhabitants of our country consider themselves poor, and only about a quarter believes that their incomes are at a decent level. The difference between the incomes of rich and poor, as follows from the data of OSM, is growing every day.

The main causes of poverty Russians call low income, unemployment and rising prices. Despite official statistics on the continuing growth of wages in 2016 the real incomes of the population decreased by about 6%. This trend continues for several years, and every year the dynamics of all the sadder: in 2015, real incomes fell by 3.2% in 2014, 0.7%.

Government analysts estimate that more than 12 million working-age Russians, continuing to work, are actually below the poverty line. Not to say that the region make no effort to improve the standard of living of the population. In particular, President Vladimir Putin has supported the government’s proposal to raise the minimum wage. According to the head of Ministry of labor Maxim Topilin, from January 1, 2018 the minimum wage will increase by approximately 22% to almost 9.5 thousand rubles. However, to the minimum wage, which currently exceeds 11,1 thousand rubles, the minimum wage still will not endure. To equalize these indicators officials are going of 2019.

Experts equate this indexing to other election promises that will not be a big burden for the budget. As suggested by the Director of the Institute for social analysis and forecasting Ranhigs Tatyana Maleva, raising the minimum wage is a step in the right direction, however, fundamentally change the poverty situation in the country, this solution would not allow it. The state is able to regulate the level of wages is exclusively in the public sector. How government decisions will be implemented by private employers, is not clear. Many entrepreneurs can easily go to “shadow” to avoid paying employees more than the high “white” salary, which will set government economists.

However, in the budget segment coordination salaries are geared more to the improvement of statistical indicators and does not contribute to a real improvement in the financial position of workers. Many state-owned enterprises prefer to withdraw part of the staff for staffing, which positively affects the overall estimate of the costs of wages — number of employees is decreasing and the average size of salary increases. However, if we consider those who work on temporary contracts, the average salary remains in the area of subsistence and below.

“According to our calculations, raising the minimum wage, which is one of the few tasks of the government to increase wages of the population, will reduce the number of poor in Russia is only 0.5%. Against the background of falling of incomes of Russians from core activities by 10%, which occurred in 2015, a drop in the sea,” says Malev. She believes that this decision will not allow to carry out the decree of Vladimir Putin on increase of incomes of Russians from the main activities 1.4-1.5 times. “In our country despite the General decline of informal Fund salaries. One increase in the minimum wage will not solve the problem. It is obvious that the state is unable to cope with the problem of low incomes, therefore a significant proportion of the working-age population in the foreseeable future will continue to teeter on the brink of poverty,” said the interlocutor of “MK”.

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