RIA Novosti: Deputy PM says poverty in Russia rising since 2014

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(RIA Novosti – October 1, 2016)

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets has said that poverty has been steadily growing in Russia since 2014, and almost 5 million Russians currently earn the minimum wage.

“Unfortunately, in our country after 2014 poverty has been consistently growing, and the measures that we are taking, we believe, at the moment should be stepped up. First and foremost, poverty has devastated working people, that is a particular situation,” said Golodets at the Sochi International Investment Forum on 1 October, Russian state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reported.

She said this is happening because wages are significantly marked down compared to the real price of labour. “And today we think this trend is serious,” she said.

Golodets said the government has a plan to raise the minimum wage to the subsistence rate, but there are difficulties, both in the negotiating process and in configuring the budget.

“Today on the Russian market we have almost 5 million people – 4 million eight hundred thousand – working for the minimum wage, and 1 million eight hundred thousand are public sector workers on the minimum wage,” she said.

She promised that the government would make efforts to ensure that labour was decently remunerated in all sectors of the Russian economy.