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Russian parliament members split over whether to cut their own salaries

February 24, 2015, 14:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Only two factions of the lower house have responded to the idea of Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin of cutting legislators’ salaries amid the economic crisis
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© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin’s idea of cutting legislators’ salaries amid the economic crisis has drawn a mixed response from the lower house members. A representative of the ruling party United Russia’s faction said there were no resources for that, while a Communist legislator came out in support of the idea.

At a meeting of the State Duma’s Council Naryshkin asked all four factions in the lower house - United Russia, the Liberal Democrats, the Communists and A Just Russia to discuss this possibility. "If my proposal gets the proper response from all factions, we shall address the president with a relevant proposal," Naryshkin said.

So far only two factions have responded to the idea.

"The way I see it, there will be no problems at the level of the CPRF faction. We are likely to back the initiative," the deputy chairman of the State Duma’s constitutional legislation committee, Vadim Solovyov, told TASS.

Salaries’ cuts must be voluntary and most deputies are prepared for that, said the head of the United Russia faction, Vladimir Solovyov. In the meantime, his fellow faction member, first deputy chairman of the State Duma’s rules of procedure committee, Nadezhda Gerasimova disagrees.

"There are no resources for that. I doubt whether some will support it," Gerasimova told TASS. She argues that the salary of a State Duma member is half of a government minister’s salary. As for media rumors legislators were getting salaries as high as 450,000 roubles (7,300 dollars), Gerasimova said that there were no such salaries in reality.

"We receive an average of 340,000 roubles (5,500 dollars)," Gerasimova said. She called for taking a closer look at the remuneration of civil servants in government ministries and agencies, the Russian government and in public corporations.

According to a just-published declaration by the public oil company Rosneft each of its thirteen board members last year was paid 215 million roubles (3.4 million dollars). LUKOIL board members were paid 109 million roubles (1.7 million dollars) per person on the average.

In November 2014 Forbes magazine published a list of the 25 most highly salaried managers of Russian companies. Their aggregate income was estimated at 219 million dollars. The heads of public companies were on the top of the list.

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