Kudrin calls growth of poverty in Russia at high GDP disgrace

Kudrin calls growth of poverty in Russia at high GDP disgrace
Alexey Kudrin

For the last six years, the country's economy has been stagnant, the head of the Accounting Chamber believes.

“Poverty in Russia has become a disgrace,” since the number of Russians with extremely low incomes is not comparable to a high level of GDP per capita, the head of the Audit Chamber, Alexey Kudrin, said in an interview with Vladimir Pozner. For the last six years, the country's economy has been stagnating, and the position of the Russian Federation on the international market has noticeably decreased, the chief auditor of Russia noted.

“In recent years, our citizens’s standard of living has declined – now about 12.5 million people are below the poverty line, 70% of our poor citizens live in families, mostly children,” Kudrin said.

When Posner asked whether the head of the AC was concerned about the risk of a social explosion due to poverty, Kudrin answered: “Of course, I have anxiety [about that].” The main reason for the growing poverty is the authorities’ unwillingness to carry out reforms in a timely manner, the head of the AC believes. To improve the situation, Kudrin proposed to increase the number of recipients of preferential benefits. 

The AC head noted that over the past six years, the country's leadership has done nothing to substantially change the economic situation in the country.

“We have not become more competitive and efficient. In this sense, we are ended up a situation of stagnation, economic in the first place, which does not promote optimism,” Kudrin said.

In his opinion, the country's leadership does not know how to choose “our main tricks” and slowly responds to the “challenges of life.” “We are very inefficient, bureaucratic,” Kudrin stressed. The Russian President’s national projects only partially absorb a number of fundamental reforms, Kudrin noted.

The official also touched upon education, which, in his opinion, “lags behind the best examples in the world.”

“Our state’s share in the economy is increasing, competition is decreasing, private initiative is decreasing, and our companies are owned by state-owned companies or the state itself. This movement is backward,” Kudrin said.

In 2018, President Vladimir Putin issued a decree on national goals, the main one of which was the fight against poverty.

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