Wednesday, November 29, 2023

60 Percent of Russian Families with Children Can’t Afford Refrigerators, TVs or Sewing Machines, Specialist on Family Finance Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 27 – The Russian government has spent a lot of money to improve the lot of Russians who choose to have children, but those efforts have been insufficient to keep most people who decide to have children from falling into poverty, according to Guzel Ulumbekova, head of the Higher School for Healthcare Administration.

            For the demographic situation to change, she argues, the government must not only spend more on healthcare to push down mortality rates but also promote economic growth that reaches the population. At present, that is not happening; and so Russians aren’t having children (

            Evidence for that conclusion, Ulumbekova says, is that it is widely known that 60 percent of Russian families with children can’t afford refrigerators, televisions, or sewing machines and thus know that if they choose to have even one child let alone two or more, even with current levels of government support, they are likely to see their families slip into poverty. 

            She continues that the government should begin by nearly doubling the money it now spends on family support, from 1.7 percent of GDP to 3 percent, or some two trillion rubles (20 billion US dollars) a year rather than cutting it and also take steps to boost the economy as whole.

            Banning abortions will be counterproductive, Ulumbekova says. Such a ban may end legal and safe abortions but women will continue to get abortions illegally – and their choice to do so means that many of them will become disabled or die and thus “will never be able to give birth,” something that will push down the birthrate still further.

            The family finance expert says she “has the feeling that our deputies do not use scientific data at all, do not ask experts or think about the fate of the people.” They simply want to attract attention regardless of the costs. There are exceptions, she acknowledges, but “they are in the minority.”

            “What scares me about these speeches is that they are not afraid to say something stupid,” she concludes, adding in conclusion, “what kind of people’s representatives are they?”

No comments:

Post a Comment