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About 13% of Russian population live below poverty line — ministry

December 28, 2017, 14:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The number of citizens with incomes below the minimum cost of living is around 20 mln people, according to the Russian labour minister

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MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. The incomes of about 13% of Russia's population are lower than the minimum cost of living, Labor Minister Maxim Topilin said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel.

"According to current estimates, the number of citizens with incomes below the minimum cost of living is still around 20 mln people, which is 13-13.5% of the total population of the country," Topilin said.

He noted that this is "at least an unpleasant indicator." The minister attributed this figure to the price increase in the last two years and, as a result, with the growth of the subsistence minimum.

Topilin stressed that the government is already taking the first steps to reduce the number of people with incomes below the subsistence minimum. He recalled that under a law that has been adopted recently, from January 1, 2018, the minimum wage will reach 85% of the minimum subsistence level, and since January 2019 - 100%.

"For the first time in the history of the Russian Federation, we managed to bring the minimum monthly wage to the minimum subsistence level," Topilin said.

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