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Russian government’s rating slides because of pension reform proposals

The level of endorsement of the cabinet’s activities stands at 37.7% on the average

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. Support for the cabinet of ministers and the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev among the Russian public fell on the background of discussion of the cabinet’s initiative to increase retirement age in Russia, shows an opinion poll published by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center [VCIOM] on Friday.

According to the data for last week [June 18 to June 24], the level of endorsement of the cabinet’s activities stood at 37.7% on the average [44.7% a week earlier], while Prime Minister Medvedev’s work was endorsed by 30.3% Russians [38.5%].

At the same time, as many as 64.4% of those polled approved of President Vladimir Putin’s activity versus 72.1% in the period of June 11 to June 17.

Simultaneously with it, the level of mistrust towards institutes of the state is growing, with 53.3% of those polled disapproving of his performance [vs 44.7% previously], 43.9% disapproving of the cabinet [38.5%], and 25.0% discontent with the President’s performance [18.4%].

"Estimation of the agencies of power and their leaders slid last week, as the public at large perceived the initiative on changing the national pension system rather unfavorably," Mikhail Mamonov, the chief of VCIOM’s department for political practices analysis said in connection with the returns from the poll.

The decline continued over several days and then the ratings stabilized at new, lower, levels. "People are adapting to the situation and figuring out the personal benefits and/or losses from the forthcoming changes," Mamonov said.

VCIOM-Sputnik agency polled 1,000 respondents in no less than 80 regions daily. As of June 18, it is polling 1,600 respondents every day.

As a result, the pollsters computed the averaged figures for seven days.

The poll was taken in the form of telephone interviews on bases of random-choice sampling.

On June 16, the Russian government submitted to the State Duma lower house of parliament a package of bills envisioning changes in the national pensions system. The package presupposes an increase of retirement age to 65 years for men and 63 years for women vs the 60 years and 55 years respectively in effect at present.

The Duma is expected to consider the changes before the summer recess. Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house of Russian parliament, said the bill on the pension system will be adopted this autumn.