Pre-election rigging

August 25, 2016

Index-linked pensions are to be replaced by a one-off payment of 5000 roubles. Not straightaway, in January 2017 – after the election …

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev drinks tea with pensioners
Dmitry Grishkin / Vedomosti

State Duma candidate Konstantin Yankauskas considers the decision to be nothing more than “pre-election rigging” of the pensioner vote. He is sure that the money for index-linked pensions could be found by optimising expenditure under the article “National Economy” of the budgetary code, which presently accounts for around 3 trillion roubles of public money:

“It’s a banal attempt by Dmitry Medvedev to rig the pensioner vote by offering them 5000 roubles in exchange for their support. But the payment will be made in January 2017, when there’ll be even less money in the reserve fund and no one will have the political stomach to find funds for indexation.

“The government already has huge reserves, which it could use not only for a second indexation, but to raise pensions to a decent level in principle.

“The first step would be to optimise costs under the above-mentioned article, which basically provides for direct subsidies from the national budget to a raft of public corporations, including the state corporation Rosnano, headed by Chubais, and the state corporation Rostec, which produces no technology, but is home to Putin’s friend Chemezov, who regularly receives contributions from the federal budget.

“This sum of 3 trillion roubles, or at least part of it, could go towards indexing pensions or increasing spending on health and education in real terms.

“Instead, the government is effectively trying to buy pensioners’ votes. But I’m sure they’ll just take the cash and vote against United Russia, because people are utterly sick of the powers that be.”