"Not Enough Money for a Slice of Cake:" the State Duma Accuses the Pension Fund of Robbery

Photo: https://regnum.ru/

There is no doubt that the officials will take the credit of this "generous" gift to the disabled people. Moreover, some of them will continue uttering the words like "increase” and “premium" -- or even "care" -- forgetting to specify the real figures.

In recent months, the fate of pensioners remains one of the most acute issues in Russia. Even the social measures announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin are not likely to calm down people who are increasingly understanding that the state is gradually backtracking on its obligations to care for the elderly.Economists, political analysts, reporters, commentators, opposition politicians, and even business representatives have repeatedly spoken of the government's virtually "burglarious" policy that has been implemented against retired people and many other categories of Russians in recent years. Apparently, the change of government that followed Vladimir Putin's landmark annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly (which was expected to mark a real shift of domestic policy to social issues) is not bringing any easing of the situation to a rank-and-file citizen. Some prominent Russian politicians also understand this. For example, most recently, the Russian Pension Fund was accused of robbery of Russians for hundreds of billions of rubles at a session of the State Duma lower house of parliament.With these words, Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) parliamentary faction, commented on recent pension premiums for various groups of people with disabilities, which Russian officials had spoken about almost every day before putting them in force. As it turned out later, these bonuses are unlikely to bring significant changes into the lives of Russians."After actually robbing Russians of hundreds of billions of rubles, the Pension Fund has given them some kind of gift,” Zyuganov told his colleagues in the State Duma. “This year, the disabled persons of Group I will a surplus of 114 rubles ($1.76) to their pensions. In addition, the disabled people of group II will receive 81 rubles ($1.29), while group III will get only 65 rubles ($1.03). This money is not enough to buy even a slice of cake."It is very difficult to disagree with Gennady Zyuganov in this case, even if you are not a communist or a socialist, for that matter. After all, officials will definitely take the credit of this "generous" gift to the disabled people. Moreover, some of them will continue to pronounce the words "increase” and “surcharge" -- or even "care" -- forgetting to specify the real figures.To understand how ridiculous the situation with such premiums looks, it's enough to recall the recent indexation of pensions. According to representatives of the central government, it should have resulted in an increase of the average pension in the country by 1,000 rubles. In fact, it turned out that the majority of the elderly people obviously do not have the above- mentioned supplement to their pensions. Moreover, the standards of living of Russian pensioners have not only remained the same but also have all chances to deteriorate. After all, this very annual upward indexation is constantly "eaten up" by rising prices and inflation, and they traditionally turn out to be noticeably higher than the figures that the authorities are used to announce to people.It is no coincidence that the story of an elderly lady who has stated quite interesting figures, is actively gaining popularity in social networks. According to the woman’s estimates, as a result of the indexation, the increase was about 800 rubles, while her payment for utility services grew by an amount even higher than that as of the start of the heating season. And along with sky-rocketing prices, she has no idea of how to survive further. "They will give some money -- and take away twice as much," the elderly woman said describing the current situation just in a few words reflecting the harsh reality of Russian pensioners’ existence.

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