On the air of Radio 1, Alexei Vedev, Head of the Financial Studies Department, Gaidar Institute commented on the initiative of introducing a ban on the reduction of the minimum subsistence level in regions.
It is planned that the restriction will be in effect in case the size of the new minimum subsistence level happens by calculations to be lower than the rate set in the previous year. Each region sets its own minimum subsistence level.  It is calculated quarterly on the basis of the minimum consumption basket and may rise or go down depending on price fluctuations.  The size of the nationwide minimum subsistence level is set by the government at the same recurrence. At present, the minimum subsistence level in Russia is equal to Rb 12,392 for the able-bodied population.

According to Alexei Vedev, “this is a purely technical decision; it will not change the life of people anyway.” 

“The quarterly revision of the minimum subsistence level is undoubtedly a relic of the past when the rate of inflation amounted to 30%-40% annually and it was necessary to revise it on a quarterly basis. At present, there is no need in it. In the past 2-3 years, the inflation rate has been at a quite low level. I think this decision was taken to exclude fluctuations. It is sooner a purely technical decision. In my view, the minimum subsistence level should be revised once a year.  But it is done on a quarterly basis to ensure its stability and avoid strong fluctuations. This decision is not going to change anybody’s life for the better. Nor will it necessarily change life for the worse”, the expert believes.