Nikolai Kavkazsky’s blog at Radio Liberty, 23.05.2014
The Russian government have been discussing the initiative of extension of the retirement age for a long time. This way the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov proposed to decrease budget burden. Head of the Russian industrialists and entrepreneurs union Alexandr Shokhin claimed both men and women should retire at the age of 60[now women retire at the age of 55]. But you will say that Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev disapproved of this reform. Yes, Putin promised that there won’t be amendments to the Constitution, promised to increase GPD by two times by 2008 and claimed that the Crimea was the internal matter of Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin and other authority representatives really deny the possibility of extension of retirement age but they give to understand that such measure might be introduced in the future. I think that the rise of pension age is just a matter of time in Russia as its economy is focused on militarisation, geopolitical adventures and entertainment such as the Olumpic Games. Especially now when the government would have to spent enourmous budgetary funds on the development of the Crimean peninsula.
So we are going to fulfill the government’s fantasies at the cost of health and time of our citizens. Though the rise of retirement age is harmful measure for the economy which will impact not only the pensioners’ wallet but will lead to the job cut and growth of unemployment. What is more, the social standing of the citizens will become worse as the state will cut its obligation to provide for the citizens. One shouldn’t forget that it’s not easy for the senior citizens to find a job and the employer will try to find a way to fire the people under the pension age. Taking into consideration the miserable rate of unemployment benefit which is even lower than the minimum living wage these citizens will have nothing to live on.
For example, in Moscow the minimum living wage is 5750 rubles [approx. 122,2 Euro]. How can one live on this sum of money? Probably only the officials from the government and Moscow Mayors office know the answer. Moreover, the young citizens who just begin their carrier will suffer from the job cut. One should improve the budget by means of militarisation cut, introduction of progressive taxation, not by cutting the social budget. One should carry the systemic fight against corruption and not put off by single demonstrative processes.
At the moment the citizens have to pay for the ambitions and adventures of Russia’s authorities. Well, at least the Crimea is ours and the Olympics were conducted.