Sergei Mironov: poverty of our citizens is a vice of our state
July 24, 2015
Sergei Mironov, Chairman of Party A JUST RUSSIA, the Leader of its State Duma parliamentary faction voiced his opinion about growing poverty dynamics in the country:
Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Government Olga Golodets reported recently that the number of poor people in the country has reached 22 million. According to her, this is critical. The confession is eloquent because the figure in itself is a disgrace for the state.
Moreover, the actual number of people living in extreme poverty in the country is much higher because an official poverty rate is calculated proceeding from a sleaze notion of "minimum cost of living" regarding which the bureaucracy have been intriguing since the Gaidar reforms. If to proceed from a social standard of consumption (as we have been offering for a long time) which includes expenses for meals and medicine, education expenditures and accommodation expense, not less than one third of citizens will turn out to be poor. What is more, these people have nothing in common with bomzhi (No Fixed Abode), alcoholics and parasites, just on the contrary: they are educated, have a profession and a job. The phenomenon is unconceivable for industrialized countries! The growth rate of poverty is frustrating. According to Olga Golodets, already last autumn 15.7 mln people were considered poor.
When this happens, the Government is just sighing for the figures all the time but is not taking any effective measures. Instead of it, one day we hear about the reduction of pension indexation, another – about the plans to limit access to free higher education, i.e. about the measures which may only exacerbate further impoverishment of the population.
The matter is that effective methods of fighting poverty are not a secret at all. Our Party A JUST RUSSIA has constantly been reminding the Government about them.
They include suspension of all privileges of state officials and deputies, limitation of the housing and utility rates, and transportation prices. Of course, the main thing is progressive tax and luxury tax which we have actually offered ten times because the model when 10% of the population is growing richer and richer at the expense of the rest 90% is inadmissible in a normal State. But for some reason, such a model seems to be more convenient for our Government. Here the inevitable question arises: do we need such a Government?