President Vladimir Putin proposed to soften pension reform: to reduce the age retirement in women from 63 to 60 years, mothers of large families be allowed to retire early, to increase the maximum size of the unemployment benefit up to 11 280 rubles. State Duma Deputy, Chairman of Council of regional branch “Fair Russia” and the Vice-President of the Confederation of labour of Russia Oleg Shein explained why even in this form, raising the retirement age would entail unemployment, rising crime and declining birth rates in the country.
Photo: Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS
- What’s wrong with raising the retirement age in Russia
- “Women are much more family-friendly, homely burden” – 5 facts about pension reform from the Minister
- Where does pension: what is pension formula in Russia
- Pension reform: people do not explain anything and hit with a brick on the head
Does the country will create 14 million jobs?
– Parliamentary hearings were held to amend was made by the President. At what stage is the reform debate?
– If you mean the technical side, the state Duma established a special Commission to negotiate amendments to the second reading. In this Commission, except the representatives of the factions, composed of representatives of trade unions, including the Confederation of labour of Russia, representatives of expert institutions and civil society organizations. The Commission should work until the end of September, the first meeting will probably be in early September.
In fact, we have meaningful to discuss only one question: the retirement age. All the rest does not matter. The meaning of the law is to annually further squeeze on the labour market from a half to two million people.
Following the reforms to the labour market will in addition be 17 million citizens of the Russian Federation. All this is due to the decreasing number of people of working age in our country. But that number would decrease not so much. It will not be reduced by 17 million, but only three. Moreover, starting in 2024 due to the demographic waves, the number of people in age of 18-60 years will increase.
In fact, we are talking about that capacity of the labour market will increase from 81 million to 94 – plus 14 million people compared to what we have today. But does the country will create 14 million jobs?
Moreover, the number of jobs will decrease, as there is technological progress and simple, physical work is obviously rooted in the past, not only in industry, in agriculture but also in services. We see how the banks replaced tellers with terminals, and instead of security guards CCTV and electronic keys.
In fact, the meaning of the law lies in the fact that unemployment in Russia will increase by 14 million people. So, in substance nothing but the question of the retirement age not necessary to discuss. As far as Parliament, government, Executive power institutions are ready to this dialogue depends, of course, not from the working group.
At the parliamentary hearings of expert institutions were represented only by the neoliberal. Neither Greenberg neither Glazyev, nor of the Institute of population, RAS is one of those people who are professionals, but not adhere to the neoliberal point of view, at the parliamentary hearings of experts was not. The working group is about the same. Therefore, the reaction depends on what will be the reaction of society and how the society will be ready and consistent in their reactions.
How the situation will change after the proposal of Vladimir Putin to raise the retirement age for women not eight, but five years? This means a substantial rise in unemployment than 14 million people, and 8 million people.
The pension Fund annually loses 2.5 trillion rubles due to the shadow employment
– You repeatedly said that pension reform today there is no demographic or budget assumptions. Why do you think so?
– I have just given the demographic picture. What to budget assumptions, the costs of pensions in a country is lower than in other countries of the world. The question is not in the budget. After all, the economy can be large and the budget small.
If all the money of the country to give to the oligarchs, the budget may be small, and then pension costs will seem very large, burden. But actually if we look at the ratio to the economy, we will see that in Russia the share of expenditure on pensions is about 7 trillion rubles a year, with the economy in 100 trillion, or 7%, while in Poland, Portugal, France 14%, Italy 16%. That is, in other countries that have no budget disasters, where the economy does not go around the world and not go bankrupt, the cost of pensioners is twice higher than in Russia.
This means that in Russia the costs for retirees can be twice as high simply due to the increase of salaries and state taxes in respect of big capital, big oligarchy. However, then we will have less billionaires. We have today per capita than in France, great Britain, not to mention Poland, Portugal, and Italy.
– What are other ways to replenish the pension Fund?
– A lot of them. First, on the surface, which could be adopted in a few weeks and earn in a few months is a flat rate of insurance contributions to the pension Fund. Today, if the wages of the person exceeds 85 thousand per month, the pension contributions amount to 22% and 10%. That is lost income of the pension Fund annually amount to 600 billion roubles.
The stories about what all goes into the shadows, ridiculous, because the salary of more than 85 thousand given to those who in the shadow of no escape: state Duma deputies, government workers, employees of the office of the President, Directors of schools, rectors of universities, doctors in hospitals, managers of “Gazprom”, “LUKOIL”, “Rosneft”, “Sberbank” and others. Anywhere in the shade, they will not go away.
It is clear that if will increase contributions to the pension funds, the raise, the tax increases would partly be achieved by reducing the salaries of these officers. So they are not sorry. The problem is that they are willing to derail the entire country, if only from their throats were not seized a piece of meat there and so did not fit.
Another mechanism, not so fast, but fundamental is legalizing labor. Russia’s problem is not that we are short of workers. Workers enough for 36 million old-age pensioners account for 81 million people of working age.
The problem is that about 40% of Russian workers are employed informally. Contributions to the pension Fund of the 81 million people regularly, according to the pension Fund, shall only 43 million.
So it’s not their fault, but their misfortune. We are not talking about self-employed, as invented by the Russian government.
Self-employed there too, but mostly it’s working class: construction workers, truck drivers, salespeople, those who collect products in the fields – people, unlike office employees working in the real sector of the economy. Against them, no legal employment, because all the rights of the bosses, employers. They generally retire will leave in 68 and 70. Because if no legal employment, retirement age plus 5 years in relation to the standard.
I made a very simple bill – to companies that use illegal labor, were deprived of state tax incentives, state contracts and orders, to be punished to the business was forced to legalize the work.
The Russian government gave a negative opinion. The Russian government says, let it continue to cheat workers on wages, even more do not pay any money to the pension Fund, nor in local budgets, and do not care that the pension Fund annually loses 2.5 trillion roubles for the shadow employment.
Thus, the crisis of raising the retirement age completely artificial.
– And, most importantly, who should act to reasonable arguments against pension reform upstairs heard and changed the course?
– Population. When people ask me, is it possible to repeal the law, the answer is simple: if the law on raising the retirement age will be so many people, how many came out without coercion, voluntarily, in our free time on the Immortal regiment, the anti-Russian law neoliberals take as fast as they made it. This is the law about the collapse of the country.
Let me repeat: one of the consequences will not only unemployment will be repeated demographic failure 90-h years, because it will be repeated impoverishment of the era of 90-ies. This, of course, the screeching halt of the economy.
There are assessment experts “Raiffeisenbank”, which no one opposes: if the law does not take, all other things being equal GDP growth – 2% if to take a minus 2% or minus 4 trillion to the national economy annually. How to stop it? One way: democratically, freely, each in a settlement to leave, as we went to the Immortal regiment. We have no other earth, no other country, and we must shape her future.
The unemployment problem is unsolvable in General
– Whether our country has a “cult of youth”, that is, and today after 45 years people are reluctant to take the job? And then what happens next?
– You need to understand that there is a problem in the training of the workforce. In fact, the experience is a good thing, but the experience has not kept pace with technology. It’s not the XIX century, and the requirements for employees are changing. In Europe, in South Korea, the United States, in Australia there are state-funded programs, retraining of personnel.
For example, in Sweden, retraining of staff annually covered about 60% of all workers over the age of 50 and, of course, younger too. Then there are people all my life learning, and they have a perception study. But if a person after College or Institute was not studied, it is very difficult to be reconstructed in 60 years.
In Russia there is only computer literacy courses – but it’s not a study. Must be a model where people in 40 years will be able to receive free higher education of a surveyor, teacher of Turkish language or cook anyone.
Truckers, for example. In a few years there will be such a profession, will be robots to carry. You want the person in the conditions when it died, can master other skills. This requires large public expenditures, but how else? We need a completely different model in which the national economy will work for the country, not 200 thousand dollar millionaires.
– You Confederation of labour there is an understanding of how to solve the problem of unemployment in Russia?
The unemployment problem is unsolvable in General. Humanity enters on the threshold, when labor ceases to be a need. For example, hunger. Hunger was a problem throughout the history of civilization, and the last major epidemic of hunger was as recently as three generations ago. But today hunger, less of a lost continent, Africa, there is nowhere else on the planet. 3% of farmers feed the whole world, and before 90% of the population was employed in agriculture to feed the remaining 10% of the residents. The technology has changed. Don’t need labor to such an extent in the village. The same in the industry. Last year, India’s GDP growth is only 4%, but minus 2% of the workforce.
Production lines, robotics, manufacturing automation make unnecessary a simple manual labor. In General, we as a civilization come to the model of basic income. But basic income has its own specifics. Why can’t he come to Europe? In Europe, it is trying to hold fraudulently conservatives and neo-liberals, as is done in Russia. Talking about monetization. We will cancel your free tickets to museums, but you get an additional 100 francs. Of course, the Swiss referendum vote against such a decision. They are not idiots. They say: today you are free museums to cancel, and tomorrow will cancel free education in universities. Therefore, these mechanics are unacceptable.
But retirement today is transformed from the Institute of compensation for infirmity in the underlying basic income for the elderly. She should be seen in this context, because it should be the refreshment of the labour force. If labour are redundant and it is redundant – the first on basic income have to leave the part of employees, whose production skills and manufacturing culture was formed 40 years ago. In this context, unemployment should be tackled the same retraining of personnel, but we must understand that civilization removes a simple work, it is not needed.
Humanity is entering a new phase, and the preservation of pension instead of unemployment form by artificial means, is just a way of relieving unemployment.
– So you think that it would be logical, on the contrary, lowers the retirement age?
– Of course. For example, in Europe, it occurs through reducing the duration of the working week. The French, after them the Swedes reduced working week. But you can go the other way, reducing the retirement age. The meaning is the same – reducing the time that people work.
The VAT increase is plugging the holes at the expense of workers
– Do you think the VAT increase on the ballot are not supported. Why?
– The growth of the VAT is a tax that is paid by buyers. When the United Russia party and the liberals tell us that any tax paid by the consumer is a lie. Income tax is paid by the capitalist. This is the money that he wants to leave for personal gain. How many will leave, many of money from it, and is taken on the basis of this volume.
Accordingly, the tax on dividends is motivated by either raising salaries or investing in investments in new projects. The idea of taxation on financial capital, the Tobin tax, which has been adopted in some countries of Europe, is taxes, regulating the financial market speculators and a windfall for the oligarchy. VAT is a tax directly with buyers. This reduction of incomes of the population.
The net pay people to clean the market of 25 trillion in shadow – 10 trillion, for a total of 35 trillion, pensions 7 trillion, down the last detail of social benefits – a total of 40 trillion rubles. This net income of the population. The VAT increase by 6% – a reduction of net income of the population by about 2%.
But there are official estimates of the Ministry, Maxim Oreshkin namely that if VAT was raised, the economy next year would show a rate of 1.9%, and the rate will be 1.4 percent; if the VAT was raised, the investment would have been 3.9% and so will be about 3%; if VAT was raised, incomes would have grown by 6%, and will increase by 1%.
We do see this in the example of a double increase in utility fees. Utility tariffs will be raised not only in July but in January. It is a law that affects incomes and wages, and the purchasing demand, and the growth rate of the economy. Sabotage the law.
– Who is it in this case, best?
– The policy of the Russian government is to reduce corporate taxes, in fact give money to the oligarchs that they do consistently. But they do it so fast, I don’t have time as rapidly to reduce the budget. So they take the decision to raise VAT is plugging the holes at the expense of workers.