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Maternity capital not to be cancelled so far

August 22, 2013, 10:21 UTC+3

The Finance Ministry proposes to save on payments to mothers about 300-330 billion rubles over three years

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated on Wednesday that no final decision has been made on the extension of the maternity capital provision term after 2016. He noted that this situation still needs to be discussed with the public and experts. At the same time, the prime minister supported the Finance Ministry’s proposal on raising after 2029 the retirement age for women from the current 55 years to 60 years.

The internet and media have been stirred up by the reports on budget saving means proposed by the Ministry of Finance, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper writes. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asked the country’s experts and people not to make a noise about the cancellation of maternity capital. This decision has not been made, he stressed. In addition, chances to implement this idea are not big, judging by the mood of the prime minister and experts. However, the premier did not criticize another proposal of the Finance Ministry - to save on pensioners. As a result, in 2029 Russian women will likely have to retire at the age of 60.

The Finance Ministry proposes to save on payments to mothers, the newspaper recalls, about 300-330 billion rubles over three years for the increasingly scarce budget. Instead of distributing maternity capital (currently it is over 409 thousand rubles) the financial authorities propose to increase the benefits for children of poor families. This measure will require only 100 billion rubles.

This initiative has angered the community of experts and bloggers. Especially the fact that the government wants to begin budget cuts with children and the elderly, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily emphasizes.

“This kind of family support was introduced in 2006. And it has really improved the demographic situation,” Dmitry Medvedev said. The decision to cancel such support has not yet been made, so it is early to rage about it. Maternity capital will be preserved until the end of 2016 - and its further fate will be decided just by the public discussion, the government head said.

However, Medvedev has not defended the pensioners from the Finance Ministry. Meanwhile, a serious attack is planned on them. The budget can be saved by cancelling the double system of indexation of pensions and limiting their growth by the inflation rate and two percent above that. It is not ruled out that the retirement age would be increased for citizens to be eligible for receiving the pension’s basic component rate in full.

The government’s decisions now depend only on the dwindling budget possibilities, the Kommersant daily writes. The creation by the White House of more and more sophisticated hierarchy of planning documents and the transfer from controlling objectives to controlling intermediate goals has been obviously caused by the difficulties with initiating projects - earlier agencies could count on the initiation of new programs and projects, but now in the austerity regime the only working way of fighting for the budget spending resources for them is the transformation of existing projects with the change of deadlines.

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