Russian Government Proposes Financial Assistance for Large Families

Proposed measures include: reduced tax rates for large families, financial subsidies to assist with rental housing, and zero-percent interest rates on mortgages

Adapted from: rg.ru and miloserdie.ru

The support system for individuals should be transformed into a family support system, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes.

In Moscow, on June 8, 2018, the Higher School of Economics held a conference titled, "State and Benefactors: Together with a Common Goal". This conference brought together representatives from the government, and from non-profit charitable organizations, discussing how to establish more effective interaction with one another. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave the topic personal attention, and he took part in the plenary session of the conference. He said, 

"This is absolutely a normal phenomenon, for both the state and non-profit charity organizations to move towards a common goal."

Fr. Alexander Aleshin, deputy chairman of the Russian Church's Department for Charity and Social Service, proposed new effective support measures for large families. He said,

"The stratification of society into the rich and the poor is a huge problem, having a political, social, and spiritual dimension. Of course, we will always have the rich and the poor with us, but it is important to reduce the gap between them. One of the most vulnerable categories is large families. So we propose to offer them help. . . . Measures to support large families will increase the birth rate."

Some of the proposed measures are to:

  • Tax families differently, depending on the number of children, the employment status of the parents, and other factors.
  • Introduce a monetary allowance for every child in a large family. (Currently, there are already such allowances for the third and subsequent children in a family.)
  • Revise the eligibility criteria for assistance, in relation to a family's existing income and property.
  • Develop measures to restructure the credit obligations of low-income families.
  • Develop a system of guaranteed joint recreation for large families.
  • Form a special federal targeted program to provide housing for large families: Reduce the mortgage rate to 0% for families with three or more children, and introduce subsidies for rental housing.

The deputy chairman noted the importance of expanding state support for non-profit organizations. Fr. Alexander said,

"Today in Russia there are more than 4,500 church charitable projects that provide assistance to various categories of people in need. In addition, every parish is an NGO."

According to him, the involvement of the volunteers in the local community is of great importance for combating poverty: 

"It is important not just to give a person some material benefits, cash, or things. It is important to help the needy person to maintain the confidence that he will not be left alone in his misfortune."

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