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PM Medvedev says poverty huge headache for Russia, remedies taken but more work needed

April 11, 16:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the premier, increasing the minimum wage will lead to "less discrepancies between salaries in different regions, this will affect the development of demand"

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© Andrei Makhonin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that poverty remains a major dilemma that still has not been effectively solved.

"We are well aware that poverty remains the most acute problem in the country, probably the biggest. What has been done over the years is, unfortunately, not enough to defeat it," Medvedev said, speaking with in the State Duma.

By the same token, he drew attention to the measures the government took to stamp out poverty. "We have taken serious steps, increased the minimum wage to the subsistence level for the first time in the history of modern Russia," the Prime Minister emphasized.

He recalled that since 2013, the minimum wage has almost doubled, and from May 1, it will come to 11,163 rubles ($172.8). "This will affect more than 3 million people, with half of them working in the public sector," Medvedev pointed out.

According to the premier, increasing the minimum wage will lead to "less discrepancies between salaries in different regions, this will affect the development of demand." "Especially since we have very low inflation now, this is really the lowest level ever," Medvedev stressed.

He also noted that the country has "people who are unable to fully provide for themselves."

"We must help them. Those whose incomes do not live up to the subsistence level, retired seniors, the disabled, veterans, and large families receive additional payments in the form of various benefits and disbursements. We hope that these additional payments will become more targeted and more tangible," Prime Minister Medvedev said.

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