Russia considers increased spend on core services

19 Jan 18

Russia is looking at increasing spending on education, healthcare and infrastructure, officials said on Tuesday.

This comes as the World Bank has called on the government to invest more in these areas to spur economic growth.  

Russia holds general elections in March and the increased spending plans could go ahead if Vladimir Putin is elected president again.

An aide to the president reportedly said the president’s proposals would potentially be paid for by increasing some taxes or reducing spending in other areas.

According to the TASS news agency, presidential aide Andrei Belousov said: “Various budget changes are being worked through right now. Some areas will see spending cuts.”

The country’s economy grew by 1.4-1.8% last year, according to the Economy Ministry.

Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov has also told reporters changes to tax and spending were necessary to help push annual growth above 1.5%.

He said: “We’re talking about infrastructure, education spending, healthcare spending and spending on human capital.” 

The World Bank president has urged governments to invest more in human capital, such as social services ad skills, to support economic growth, at the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in October.

Last week, the finance ministry said it had spent its reserve funds to cover its budget shortfall at the end of 2017. 

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