Konstantin Sonin: “Child benefit is the only real measure for Russia”

Konstantin Sonin: “Child benefit is the only real measure for Russia”
Konstantin Sonin: “Child benefit is the only real measure for Russia”
12 May 2020, 18:02Economy
Since in Russia the vast majority of poor families are families with minor children, the coverage of the assistance measures proposed by Putin is really large.

The well-known Russian economist Konstantin Sonin approved the decision announced by Putin to give benefits to families with minor children, since this actually coincided with the opposition’s demands to provide the country's citizens with financial assistance in connection with the crisis:

“The measures of support for citizens announced on May 11, mainly child allowances, are as close as possible, in practical terms, to what economists have proposed. This is not “unconditional support” or “support for everyone with a simple cut-off,” but something close. More than 80% of low-income families in Russia are families with minor children, that is, the coverage of the “May 11 aid measures” is really large, and the money is sent to the real poor. Given that pensions are also (at least somehow) increasing, almost the entire poor are covered.

It is also correct that the president said in some detail what he should. I know that it is difficult for non-economists to believe, but the enormous practical complexity with various benefits is that not everyone who has rights to them knows about them and can correctly arrange everything. The fact that help is already going through existing channels and to those documents that are already drawn up simplifies the matter. And for the first time in the fight against the coronacrisis - partly under the pressure of opposition leaders who campaigned for similar measures - the scale of support is adequate to the scale of the crisis.

Now a new communication task (for the president and the government) is to prepare for the fact that this assistance is temporary. Because if they stay forever, it will be expensive, and the incentives to work will greatly reduce. But during the crisis - increasing child benefits - the right measures ... "

True, one of the readers of the blog complained:

But I don’t understand why the “presence of children” was chosen as a criterion for providing assistance. In my opinion, such an approach is unfair. If you have no children then you are not a human? Not a taxpayer? And if you have elderly parents? Or a student who is already “not a child”?”

To which the author replied:

“You are completely, 100% right. I myself thought (and for two months now I have been writing and talking about this) that it is necessary to help everyone (or everyone with some kind of cutoff). But they simply do not have such a tool. And the “allowance for children” is the best tool available. More pensions and disability - and there are several million who are not helped at all..."

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