Who will pay the state budget deficit?

Who will pay the state budget deficit?

Who will pay the state budget deficit?

22 September, 14:40
Photo: www.docseducation.com
The state budget with a surplus or a slight deficit is a thing of the past. Ahead are years of acute shortage of funds. Who will pay for all this? From whose pockets will the missing resources be pulled?

Victoria Pavlova

Last year's three-year budget provided for a surplus of 299.1 billion rubles for 2023, and a deficit of 522.7 billion rubles for 2024. Quite good - the deviations are small. But the well-known events of 2022 forced the government to throw this document into the trash and draw up a completely new budget. The day before the announcement of partial mobilization, Mikhail Mishustin announced its parameters: in 2023, the deficit will be 2.9 trillion rubles, or 2% of GDP. In 2024, the deficit will be 1.4% of GDP, and in 2025 - 0.7% of GDP. But it’s too early to look so far, let’s focus on the current year 2022.

Who will be milked first

The Central Bank, as Novye Izvestia recently found out, can “print” rubles. But he does it reluctantly and only in the interests of selected state-owned enterprises. The government will not dare to issue an additional issue of 2.9 trillion rubles - inflationary risks are too high. The Ministry of Finance plans to patch up the hole with internal loans. And this is still the most favorable option from the point of view of impartial accounting - the deficit could be even greater. In order to reach the level of expected revenues of 26 trillion rubles, the government included additional sources of replenishment of the treasury in the budget. In 2023, increased import duties and mineral extraction tax rates should bring an additional 1.4 trillion rubles, and increased duties on gas and oil, with the extension of the adjusted damper for gasoline in the next three years, will bring another 3.15 trillion rubles.

Already next year, the export duty on gas, which is sold for more than $300 per 1,000 cubic meters. m. will increase to 50% from the current 30%, the coefficient in calculating the export duty on oil will increase from 0.167 to 0.25 - 1.5 times, a duty will be introduced on the export of LNG and coal. According to experts, the latter can be $9-10 per ton. At the same time, it is planned to take 12% of export earnings (more than 100 billion rubles) from fertilizer producers. At first glance, ordinary residents of Russia do not care about export duties, which will be paid by the country's richest mining corporations. But withdrawals in favor of the budget will affect everyone!

Prices for heat and light: do you want the same as in Europe?

First, gas prices will rise. The government expects to make money on the consumption of blue fuel within the country. If in 2022 the indexation of gas tariffs amounted to a modest 3%, then in 2023 fuel for Russians will become more expensive by 8.5%, and in 2024 by 7%. Of these, 3 p.p. through the increased severance tax will go to the state budget. For 3 years, people will pay 278 billion rubles this way. Moreover, everyone will pay, and not just the owners of gas stoves and domestic boilers, because both thermal power plants and industrial enterprises use gas. Gasoline won't be cheaper either. The damper mechanism will lead to the withdrawal of an additional 190 billion rubles a year.

Is it time to stock up on firewood and coal to kindle the stove? It won't help either. While we are playing humorous videos about how Alexander Lukashenko is chopping wood to be sent to help Europe, the inhabitants of the Russian hinterland themselves risk being left without heat. Inflation, as well as the surge in world coal prices, affected the prices of solid fuels in Russia. According to Rosstat, firewood has risen in price by 19% over the year - up to 1.76 thousand rubles per cubic meter. The most expensive they will cost the residents of Sevastopol (3.31 thousand rubles), the Kaliningrad region (3.03 thousand rubles) and in the Altai Territory (2.92 thousand rubles). For the Altai Territory, firewood is especially relevant - there the level of gasification is only 16%. Coal heating is also not a gift - fuel has risen in price over the past 12 months by 22% to 3.67 thousand rubles. One of the most expensive is in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, where you will have to pay 14,596 rubles per ton, in Kamchatka - 12,500 rubles, in Sakhalin - 7,738 rubles. An increase in export duties will certainly affect domestic prices. It will be especially difficult for the residents of Kuzbass, because at the same time they have less work. Even before the European embargo (in the period January-July 2022), coal production in Kuzbass decreased by 9%. It is not possible to quickly increase deliveries to the East from Kuzbass due to logistical problems and a shortage of railway capacity. The governor of the Kemerovo region, Sergey Tsivilev, complains that coal has to go too far: “ To deliver coal to China, you have to go west along Russian Railways, reload it, then go around half the world”.

Oil and gas companies are in no hurry to shell out

Mining companies are not used to sharing their profits, because you can always shift the burden on the end user. The opinion of the government in this situation may have a weak position, because the oil industry has a powerful tool in its hands - public sentiment. They will reduce supplies to the domestic market, and there will be a shortage of fuel, which can result in riots. The world experience of 2022 from Kazakhstan to Indonesia shows that the fuel crisis is akin to a match near an open barrel of gasoline. Will definitely rip. And now the Cabinet of Ministers needs people's discontent least of all. The oil and gas companies themselves will not become poor even in such a situation. As in foreign markets, increased prices were compensated by a reduction in supplies, so it will be in the domestic market. Albeit relatively moderate, but still an increase in energy prices for the population will be an acceptable compromise from the government's point of view. So everyone will have to pay - tightened belts are getting tighter.

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