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Anti-crisis Plan of the Government: to Shift the Burden from the Capital to Working People

Anti-crisis Plan of the Government: to Shift the Burden from the Capital to Working People
Ivan Yanov 08.04.2009

From the very beginning of economic crisis the government, ministers and personally Misters Putin and Меdvedev constantly repeat about necessity to develop and put into practice "effective anti-recessionary measures" which will allow Russia to leave developed heavy situation at last. There's no doubt that situation is really heavy.


On data of Rosstat, industrial production in Russia in February, 2009 decreased on 13,2% in comparison with similar period of 2008. For first two months of 2009 decrease in industrial production made 14,6% in comparison with the same period of last year. In the middle of February it became known that on results of January, 2009 industrial production in Russia was reduced on 16% in comparison with January, 2008. Decrease of this parameter became record since 1994 when falling of manufacture made 18%.


Earlier, in December, 2008 industrial production in Russia decreased on 10,3% and in November - on 8,7%. Thus recession is being observed in all branches: from extraction of commercial minerals up to processing industries.


The Russian car industry appeared in the most emergent situation: in the beginning of April, despite of all assurances of the government "to keep the branch", the first large car factory - Izhevsk was closed.


Besides "the beauty and pride" of the government - huge means saved up for a decade of record oil prices of Stabilization Fund thaw away on eyes, as a snowdrift on the spring sun narrowing tight field for social and economic maneuvers. For the first time for last 10 years federal budget - at 2009 - became scarce, deficiency will make not less than 8% from gross national product. However if we shall peer at economic policy carried out by ruling class thoroughly, we'll manage to see certain physiognomy of "anti-recessionary measures".


First of all, according to the Ministry of Finance, a lot of regions of Russia will raise salaries to state employees in 2009 not on 30% as it was supposed earlier but on 10%. Taking into account that inflation in Russia in 2009 under forecasts of the Ministry of Finance will make 13-15%, real incomes of state employees will decrease. Besides, salary fund in regions will be reduced on 10-15% due to dismissals. It was already declared in Moscow, Yaroslavl, Belgorod, Bryansk, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo and Chelyabinsk areas and also in Tatarstan. It is supposed, certainly, that alongside with teachers and doctors state officials also will be axed but, knowing real practice of similar measures, one can be completely sure: dismissals will not touch bureaucracy.


Secondly, minister of regional development Mr. Basargin at the All-Russia forum of housing and communal utilities unequivocally declared that "the state in conditions of financial crisis" "will not freeze tariffs for services of housing and communal utilities", that is tariffs will continue to grow. "In any case we either finance due to investment component, or shift it on population because someone should pay for the development of networks and municipal component, including heating and power supply". As the government does not plan to direct "investment component" to housing and communal utilities, the care of the payment for new increased tariffs "is shifted on the population", in fact "someone should pay". Really, it's not the way out to take multi-billion tranches away from banks: sink or swim. The government of large capitalists and bankers rescues only large business and banks.


Thirdly, since April, 1, 2009 the rate of export duty on oil was reduced from 115 up to 110 dollars for a ton. Where the government does not think to meet interests of workers of budgetary sphere and to protect great bulk of population from growth of tariffs for housing and communal utilities, it willingly meets the needs of large business: impoverishment of workers - nothing, the profit of oil corporations - everything.


In autumn of 2008 world prices for oil started to fall and the government showed touching care of purses of oil kings "demanded" "to speed up reduction in the rate of duty on export of oil" as in conditions of sharp falling of prices for oil the rate "had no time" to get reduced following market. It would be very interesting and indicative to look at reaction of the government if, for example, the workers of some enterprise "demanded" to lower tariffs for services of housing and communal utilities as in conditions of economic crisis "growth of tariffs for services of housing and communal utilities can't follow falling of real wages".


I will take a risk to assume that they would hardly get anything but for rubber bullets, tear gas and charges in "extremism". It's when in the first half of 2008 growth of the duty had no time to follow increase of prices in the market and oil corporations received thus additional profits, none of them "demanded" "to speed up" increase of "the rates of the duty on export of oil".


Fourthly, Central Bank will not give out State Banks recommendation in relation to bonus policy and payments of bonus to top-managers. Chairman of Central Bank Mr. Ignatyev said about it openly in the end of March. In the course of his performance on April, 2 at London school of economy Mr. Medvedev practically agreed with the head of Central Bank, having called only the heads of state companies "to restrict themselves" in conditions of financial crisis and not to overestimate sizes of premiums.


Frameworks of this "self-restriction", apparently, entirely and completely lay "on conscience" of the top. The fact that neither these frameworks, nor especially "conscience" do not constrain the tops of the companies is being openly admitted even by officials.


In opinion of director of VCIOM Mr. Fedorov, half of the Russians ranging as middle class, say that "crisis didn't touch them at all. Such application which couldn't enter a policy of "self-restrictions" was made neither more, nor less than on official forum "Strategy - 2020"! If to take into account that VCIOM traditionally ranges "workers of large companies, representatives of small and medium business and bureaucracy", the picture becomes full.


Moral appeals of Mr. Medvedev to large business to "restrict itself" serve the only target: to cover with loud populist phrases real policy of the government on rearrangement of the basic burdens from the shoulders of large capital on the shoulders of workers.



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