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Deputies offer 2% parent maintenance tax

August 06, 2013, 10:31 UTC+3
Leader of the Pensioners Party, Duma deputy Igor Zotov, has drafted a bill under which two percent of Russians’ salaries will be deducted to add to the pensions of their parents
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Part of responsibility for the welfare of elderly citizens may be shifted onto their full-aged children, the Izvestia daily writes on Tuesday. Offers to make Russian nationals more responsible for the welfare of their mothers and fathers are actively discussed in the State Duma lower house of parliament.

The leader of the Pensioners Party, Duma deputy Igor Zotov, has drafted a bill under which two percent of Russians’ salaries will be deducted to add to the pensions of their parents.

“Possibilities of the existing state pension system don’t meet citizens’ demands. In order to bring the purchasing capacity of the pensioners in conformity with the reality, it is necessary to increase pension payments, at least through their children,” the parliamentarian believes.

Currently, Article 87 of the Russian Family Code already says that the adult children must “maintain their disabled parents who need help and take care of them,” the Izvestia daily reminds the readers. However, the legislation does not mention concrete amounts of such pecuniary aid.

The bill also envisages the possibility for the children to refuse in case their mother or father were stripped of parental rights, did not take part in their child’s upbringing, dodged maintenance payments, committed an intentional crime against the life or health of their children, or are chronic drinkers or drug addicts. Besides, parents themselves may unilaterally refuse to receive allowances from their children.

According to Zotov, the government must develop a concrete scheme for the transfer of money from children to their parents once the bill is passed. Most likely the employer will be deducing the money to the pension fund, which will then distribute it.

The Duma committee for labor, social policy and veterans said Zotov’s offer was “rather interesting,” but urged for a more “individual approach”. The head of the committee, Andrei Isayev from United Russia, came up with a cross offer.

“There are certain situations when well-off Russians give their parents to old people’s homes, where they are in the care of the state. I would impose compulsory payments on such children,” he said.

Experts believe there is no sense in such a scheme, although it is not quite difficult to make it work. Senior researcher at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences Irina Bukina has offered to solve the problem with the help of the funded component of the retirement pension. “This scheme seems very strange to me, what’s the point in inventing something new?” the expert is surprised. “People must themselves save up money for the pension,” she believes.

Last autumn, a similar idea was voiced by representatives of the Public Chamber. In this case however, coordinator of the Volga centre for family and childhood Alexei Koshelev offered to deduct not two percent but already 15 from the salaries of full-aged children.

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