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State Duma intends to increase minimal salary in Russia

October 09, 2013, 11:22 UTC+3

The author of the document believes that “an inadmissibly low minimal salary” is set in Russia and makes only 76% of subsistence minimum

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A bill increasing the minimal salary to the subsistence minimum was submitted in the State Duma lower house of parliament. The minimal salary was increased from current 5,205 rubles (about $160) to 7,263 rubles (about $220) (this is the subsistence minimum of the able-bodied population in Russia in general), the pro-governmental daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

The author of the document believes that “an inadmissibly low minimal salary” is set in Russia and makes only 76% of subsistence minimum. Still, the subsistence minimum which the state authorities take as a basis in the development and implementation of the social programs also does not meet modern requirements. It was reported about an initiative of the State Duma deputies to increase the minimal salary by one third at the same time the reports were made that Swiss organizations intend to guarantee to each full-aged citizen an income of no less than 2,800 euro monthly, if they do not receive this sum of money, they will pay some money to people to get this sum, Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported.

Can Russia follow this path in the future? Even a 31% increase of the minimal salary as deputies propose it and making it equal with the subsistence minimum will require up to three billion rubles monthly from the budgets of all levels, head of the analytical department of the audit consulting group Gradient Alfa Vitaly Tsvetkov said.

“Neither Russia nor any other country in the world can allow this to itself,” chief scientific fellow of the Higher School of Economics Yevgeny Yasin said. The idea is populist. People should work or have some property for earning some income. All other decisions absolutely contradict the principles of a competitive market economy. They lead to financial losses in the future. Nothing should be changed in Russia in terms of ideology, we do not need the Swiss experience and it will not help us,” he said. In the view of the expert, the minimal salary is some kind of guarantee from the abuses of an employer in the hired labor. The state authorities assume the functions that the patriarchal family had performed before.

Russia should start from the support to unprotected categories of people according to personal principle, advisor of the Institute of Modern Development Nikita Maslennikova said. The target programs are a world trend, particularly in Europe. The expert called not to link social expenditures with the result that can be estimated. 

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