Inequality in Russia becomes the election tidbit

Published: February 19th, 2016

Tuesday, February 16, at the Chamber of Commerce Russia hosted the discussion, organized by the Moscow Economic Forum (MEF), and devoted to the problem of inequality in Russia. Experts from different spheres gave their assessment of this phenomenon. According to some participants of the event the standard of living in Russia in the coming years will fall, which could lead to social cataclysms. "Recipes of cure" offered were rather radical.

"The middle class is dying out like mammoths"

Opening the event, co-chair of the MEF, president of Industrial Union "New Commonwealth" Konstantin Babkin told the audience some of the figures: "In Russia, 19.4 million people have no formal employment, 16.1 million live below the poverty line, 4.4 million officially listed as unemployed.." He said that not less than 2.5 million Russians instead of "creation" occupy bureaucratic positions that do not correspond to their abilities. "If you add on here 70 million disabled (children, the elderly, the disabled), we get more than 112 million people", - he said, noting that this situation causes significant damage to the economy as a whole.

According to independent economist Vladislav Zhukovsky, according to official data, in Russia 20 million people live in poverty. "It is well combed, politically correct assessment by Rosstat. According to the same data, incomes below 20 thousand rubles (about 230 euros) have 72-73 million Russians, that is, half the country's population. " According to the economist, "the middle class is dying out like mammoths of the Ice Age." If during the "fat" years, there were 23 per cent, in 2014 - 17 percent, according to the results of 2015 - less than 13 percent. "I think that by 2018 the proportion of people with a normal level and quality of life will be no more than 6-7 percent," - gave the forecast Zhukovsky.

Not only income but also the resources

But the case is not only in income. As Head of the Laboratory for the Study of market economy, the economic faculty of Moscow State University Andrei Kolganov said, it is crucial to people to have access to resources - housing, education, health care, the opportunity to participate in managing, organizing their leisure time. According Kolganova, for economic development a certain level of social inequality is necessary, but in Russia it is excessive - funds ratio (characterizes the stratification level and is defined as the ratio of income of 10 percent of the richest and 10 percent of the poorest -. Ed.) Exceeds, according to him, to16.

Speaking of access to health care as one of the fundamental rights, the head of the Graduate School of the organization and management of health Guzel Ulumbekova said that in the next two years, Russia's population will give up the necessary medical care, or will give for it the latter and peter out. The fact is that in 2016 government expenditures on health care, compared with the 2014 year will be reduced by 15 per cent at constant prices. "We are lackong 470 billion rubles," - said the expert.

Deputies - about theirs

A significant proportion of the speakers backed from the main topics of discussion and focused the public's attention on the fact that no social transformation in Russia is possible without political reforms. Particularly active this argument was presented by representatives of the authorities - the deputies. "We discuss everything, but nothing changes. Authorities needs motivation, which is not." - , said the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Industry, Valery Hartung ("Just Russia"). The recipe, he says, is simple: the turnover of power, political competition, independent courts, securing property rights. " It is time to talk about the political reforms. The last Duma elections were unfair. The main motive of passing into power was packing up their pockets." - He snapped.

The changes will not succeed in a democracy, said the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky. According to him, everything the participants of the event said is true, but they will not be able to realize their ideas. "There is nobody to do it! Money leaves! Those who hinder our lives will continue to interfere!!!" LDPR leader gave his recipe: "To close the Country! To leave all the money at home and not to let anyone out in order to stop the brains flowing away. The differentl is impossible!"

These slogans Zhirinovsky supplemented with a passage that Russia can return leaked money capital only with force. "To arrest all members of the family at night" (of the entrepreneurs, who left in the offshore -. Ed.).

The insecurity and the lack of guarantees

Only speakers from science were able, with some difficulty, to return the parties to the stated topic of conversation. Senior Researcher of the Institute of Sociology Jean Toshchenko noticed that today in Russia "the number of people occupying a precarious position has increased dramatically." These are the people with a temporary, part-time or seasonal employment, as well as the unemployed, migrants and people of the liberal professions - freelancers. "Temporary employment becomes a permanent habit. They have no guaranteed income, no social guarantees. They do not see the future." - He stated.

Head of the one of the departments of Institute of Economics Irina Soboleva confirmed that the disparity in the level of protection is one of the main aspects of inequality and poverty in general. According to expert, in Russia only employees of large enterprises or the public sector may be more or less confident in the future. The rest, which is nearly half of the working population, face gray execution of the Labour Code.

"The majority of employees there share the risk but not the benefits with the employer, and if there were more benefits before crisis, it flipped with the beginning of the crisis", - she says. The expert believes that the authorities should address this issue as one of the primary.

Source: DW