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Childless Russian families to pay taxes for their social inaction

15.09.2006
 
Childless Russian families to pay taxes for their social inaction

Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Health Protection, Nikolai Gerasimenko, suggested the introduction of childlessness tax to improve the demographic situation in Russia.

“It is about time we should think about childlessness tax. If you do not want to think about your social duty for your fatherland than you will have to pay for it,” Gerasimenko said. The official added that State Duma deputies were currently considering the issue about the introduction of such a tax in Russia. As soon as deputies think the idea through, the law-makers will develop an adequate document on the matter.

The Minister for Healthcare and Social Development, Mikhail Zurabov, said that the idea about the introduction of childlessness tax was quite understandable. The government is actively searching for stable sources to fund social expenditure. Childlessness tax could use one of those sources, Interfax reports. “If we think about a problem to find a stable source to fund that spending, then we can think about it some time,” the minister said.

Mikhail Zurabov stressed out that the reproductive conduct of the Russian population seriously depends on the state-run policy, but not on taxes alone. The Soviet government took similar measures in the 1970s. As a result, the birth rate coefficient in the country was higher than necessary in 1987 and made up 2.19 percent. The index dropped to 1.17 during the period of ten years that followed after. “The hardships of the new economic period in the country resulted in a dramatic reduction of the birth rate nationwide,” the minister said.

The Director of the Center for Demography and Ecology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Anatoly Vishnevsky, said at a press conference that the birth rate in Russia has been considered one of the lowest in the world for over 40 years. “It is a chronic disease for Russia, and it will not be easy to beat it,” the scientist said.

President Putin put forward a suggestion to boost the birth rate in the country with the help of the so-called maternity allowance in the amount of 250,000 rubles (about $10,000). Putin expressed the idea in his message to the Federal Assembly in May of this year. “When a woman gives birth to her second child, she often loses her professional skills and finds herself in a dependant and even humiliating situation in a family. If the state shows concern about the national birth rate, it must support a woman who makes a decision to have a second child. The state is supposed to give her the initial maternal capital which would increase her social status,” President Putin said.

Based on news reports of Russian mass media

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Pravda.ru

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