Russia » Politics
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Gap Between Russia's Rich and Poor Increases

Incomes of the rich are 14 times higher than those of the poor now
Russia's Acting Minister for Labor and Social Development Alexander Pochinok stated on Wednesday that even though incomes of the population were increasing, the gap between the rich and the poor was still great in the country.

Alexander Pochinok spoke at a collegium of the Labor Ministry on Wednesday and stated that according to the latest information of the RF Statistics Committee moneyed income per head increased by 14.5 per cent over 2003, which is the biggest result achieved within the past ten years. At that, the acting minister for labor and social development says incomes of the rich are 14 times higher than those of the poor now. The share of poor population has reduced by 8.3 per cent points within four years.
 
According to Alexander Pochinok, it is important to redirect budgetary finance immediately to addressees of moneyed aid to further control whether indigent people actually receive the money. "We will introduce new criteria of the ministry's departments activity. We will estimate the effective output of rubles invested in the social sphere," Alexander Pochinok says.
  
Social institutions must be switched from estimated to individual financing, the acting minister for labor and social development says. He is particularly anxious about people's economic poverty, which means that even though a man works eight hours a day he still cannot maintain his family and satisfy his personal needs. According to Alexander Pochinok, this essential problem will be worked upon in the nearest time. "We must not only reduce the number of the poor but also render financial aid to the poor individually, this measure is expected to reduce the social gap."
 
What is more, the Ministry for Labor and Social Development plans to introduce tougher control over payment of wages to budget-related workers. Alexander Pochinok says today the maximum arrears of wages in Russia's regions make up a bit more than a month. He is sure that there are enough resources to raise wages and guarantee their timely payment. 

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