Support of the Family is Among Russia's Top Priorities

Families are eligible to receive a 'maternal fund' upon the birth of a  third, or subsequent child which now amounts to approximately $7,927 USD

This is a partial translation/adaptation from a major Russian newspaper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta. Russian faith has been publishing on Russia's ongoing  battle against demographic decline and for the return of the family. At the start of 2018, Putin announced further incentives for creating larger families. This article offers further information on the topic. 

At the end of 2006, a maternal fund was introduced into federal law. Families are eligible to receive it if they have a second, third, or subsequent child. In 2007 the maternal fund amounted to 250 thousand rubles, and now it is more than 453 thousand (approximately $7,927 USD).

Today, there are many indications that this program has been extremely effective: the birth rate grew substantially, and there has been a change in society’s attitude towards having many children.

In addition, a big role in the solution of demographic problems comes from programs that build kindergartens, and programs that provide allotments of land to families with many children. Likewise, there is now a program for building perinatal centers, and it has succeeded in saving the lives of a huge number of children. It stands to reason that these children will need continued medical assistance, and because of this, the president was completely correct to encourage the reconstruction and formation of children's clinics.

Unfortunately, the threat of demographic crisis is still a reality in Russia. The birth rate was horrifically low in the 1990's. The kindergartens were closed, and in school, classes were half-empty. It is that very generation of the 90's that is beginning to create families today.

In order to motivate young people to have children, the government realizes that it is necessary to take a complete set of actions, among which are two laws proposed by the president.

One of them prolongs the maternal fund program for 3 more years. The capacity of the federal budget's resources, which is necessary for the continuation of this program, amounts to 37.9 billion rubles in 2019 and 69.7 billion rubles in 2020.

According to the drafted law, we can see that the opportunities for using maternity capital are increasing. Currently, until the child reaches the age of 3, these funds can be spent in only two situations. The money can be used to pay fees on a home or apartment, either for the initial purchase, or for the cancellation of debts on a mortgage loan. Or the money can be used to purchase the necessary materials and services to help a handicapped child. There is now a new proposal, which would also allow citizens to use the maternity capital to pay for preschool education for children up to 3 years of age.

The second drafted law provides an opportunity for poor families to receive monthly compensation, in the event of the birth or adoption of the first or second child after January 1st, 2018. To qualify, their day-to-day income cannot exceed the minimum wage of the employable population. Salaries, stipends, pensions or aids are included as daily income. Income from bank deposits or rented property will not be included.

In this proposal, the size of compensation will be set by determining the regional minimum cost of living for children in the second quarter of the preceding year. For example, families in the Moscow Oblast whose income is less than 60 thousand rubles a month will receive payments of more than 11,500 rubles. In the Udmurt Republic, where the minimum cost of living is lower, families whose income is less than 46,600 rubles a month will in addition be paid almost 9 thousand rubles monthly. This support will continue until the child reaches the age of one and a half.

To achieve these goals, it is planned to set apart 46 billion rubles from the federal budget in 2018, 118 billion rubles in 2019, and 146 billion rubles in 2020.

The State Duma will consider both draft laws in the second and third reading, and hopefully will adopt them unanimously.

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazetta 

Translator: Kimberly Gleason

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