20.06.2021

Why authorities are moving away from financial support for the poor

How many do not say the word “sugar” in your mouth will not be sweeter. Actually, the same thing is happening today with concrete help from the state to the impoverished population. In order to provide food for ordinary people in conditions of self-isolation, it is proposed to introduce several measures from different angles at once: someone votes for food cards that are familiar to our parents and grandfathers, if not us. Someone offers to give out “helicopter money” for products. There is a third option – to introduce digital grocery cards in the country in the Chinese image and likeness.

Both that, and another, and the third implies that the Russian, who has in his pocket a card, digital card or cache, once a week will return home with a full bag of domestic products: bread, milk, sausages, canned food, various cereals.

Why should products be domestic? Because when buying goods of Russian farmers (not American and non-Dutch), we encourage domestic producers to further develop agricultural production.

Well, now – a full basket of grubs, except for strong drinks and tobacco products.

Is it bad?

Only lazy does not speak about this today. And in the State Duma, and in regional parliaments, and scientists-economists. There is a reason for this: 60% of the population of Russia did not have any savings on a “rainy day” -and here self-isolation, unemployment … It’s time, it’s high time to provide these fellow citizens with specific financial assistance, because they themselves did not put themselves in such extreme conditions.

But time passes, and the government is clearly not in a hurry to solve this problem.

With “real money,” which officials call helicopter, everything is clear. They are like a double-edged razor. You can take them – and drink it right away, especially since the amount is not very large at the present time. Experts call it ranging from the minimum wage (12 thousand rubles) to 20 thousand.

With the Chinese version of digital grocery cards is also not entirely clear. From the first option, direct money, they differ in that the rubles will not be cash, but virtual. Each citizen for a week will be awarded the number of points that correspond to a specific set of products.

It is difficult to imagine a situation for our officials to sit down for drawing up a point system. It remains to be determined how many points, say, one pack of dairy sausages or a pound of Turkish tomatoes costs – we are still import-dependent in providing vegetables. Or how many points are required for a man and a woman, how many – for an old man and a child.

Here the head will go round from the “Chinese box”.

With our bureaucratic apparatus and the procedure for approving the rules of the game at all levels of the power vertical, this is work for years to come.

Its only advantage is that the points that are not fully cooked before the end of the week “burn out”, thereby saving budgetary funds allocated for the purchase of products.

But the same procedure for saving budgetary funds, without any troubles, can be used in an ordinary grocery card, which is the best way we can relate to the Soviet era. Transfer there 12-20 thousand rubles a month purely for products and for nothing else. And if any funds remain on the card, add money to the account up to the specified amount.

No need to reinvent the wheel; food cards work in America. Where domestic officials for sure, and more than once, got acquainted with their experience in supporting the poor.

Which option is better?

What confuses me in this situation. But haven’t the powers that be specially thrown us different options so that we clashed in discussions in the kitchen, in the press, talk shows? Gets away from the problem, the same string bag with food?

In this way, we participate in the discussion of state problems, and things are, nevertheless, still there. After all, while the public will break the spears, upholding the “best system”, you look at the pandemic – it will resolve itself.

“I am a supporter of direct financial assistance to the population,” says Igor NIKOLAEV, Doctor of Economics. – Money in this case is more effective, let people decide for themselves what to buy. There is another point to consider. The older generation, our veterans, remember the military and post-war food cards. Those who found the 90s are aware of food stamps that “went” including in Moscow. And what did we come to in 2020?

Such a sad association must also be considered. It turns out, a step forward and two back.

– And how much, in your opinion, is necessary for Russians “for complete happiness”?

– Not to all our fellow citizens, but only to those who need such support. Tentatively, this is 20-30 million people. If everyone is given a one-time allowance of 50 thousand rubles, 1-1.5 trillion is obtained. rubles. On April 1, the National Welfare Fund was 12.9 trillion. That is, one tenth of the NWF. It is a feasible task for the budget.

If this issue is not resolved now, I’m afraid we will miss our chance. The Cabinet of Ministers has repeatedly spoken out against “helicopter money”. But soon there will be no money left in the NWF either. With the very optimistic forecast of the Central Bank about a deficit of 5-6% of GDP, in my opinion, next year it will be practically empty.

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