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Kremlin certain minimum wage hike won’t drag down upbeat economic trend

January 11, 14:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The minimum monthly wage was raised to 70% of the poverty line last July

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MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. The Kremlin is confident that raising the minimum wage to the minimum subsistence income level will not have a negative impact on the economy’s positive developments. "No, there are no such fears," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, answering a question about fears of a possible adverse reaction to the wage hike.

"Everything is being carefully worked out by experts and the government, of course," he explained. "Such decisions are announced after careful consideration," Peskov added.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the minimum monthly wage would be raised to the minimum subsistence income as of May 1, 2018, earlier than planned.

The minimum monthly wage was raised to 70% of the poverty line last July, Putin said. It was increased again from January 1 of this year and both indicators were planned to be made equal in a year, the head of state said. "The dynamics of the Russian economy remains positive. The budget deficit is lower than we expected, and our gold and foreign exchange reserves are growing. In other words, the Russian economy is on the rise and this trend is being sustained. We have an opportunity to equalize the monthly minimum wage with the minimum subsistence income from May 1 of this year and we will do that," Putin promised.

The monthly minimum wage will be adjusted upward on an ongoing basis and it will not drop below the minimum subsistence level, he added.

The monthly minimum wage amounts to "just 9,489 rubles ($166.4)," the chief of state said. "As far as I can personally remember, we always discuss and continue to discuss the need to make the minimum monthly wage even with the so-called minimum subsistence income," Putin said. The minimum subsistence income is currently over 11,000 rubles ($192.9), he noted.

The minimum subsistence income, or poverty line is the cost of a minimal set of foods, goods and services required to maintain health and support the vital activities of an individual. It also addresses monthly payments and charges due. The monthly minimum wage is the minimum amount of wages Russians have before deducting income taxes.

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