Putin vows to halve poverty in Russia in 6 years

1 Mar 18

Russia’s president has said he will halve poverty in the country within the next six years, in a speech before an election he is expected to win later this month.

Vladimir Putin also said he wanted to increase employment and longevity, saying that “every person matters to us”, in his annual state of the nation address.

He said: “We have not reached the necessary level in terms of people’s well-being.”

Putin is laying out key policies for his fourth presidential term, but had so far done little campaigning or said much about his plans for the next six years.

In 2000 there were 42 million people in Russia living below the poverty line, Putin said, while there were 20 million today. He added that this number was still “unacceptable” and needed to come down.

In his speech on Thursday, the president also said he would boost pensions and create more childcare places. Additionally, he vowed to double spending on urban infrastructure over the next six years.

He did not provide details of how this spending would be funded.

Putin said digital growth was needed and that he wanted Russia to become one of the world’s main hubs for storing and processing big data.

Almost 70% of Russians are believe to be voting for Putin in the March elections, according to a poll by state news agency, TASS.

Russian officials announced in January that the country was considering increasing spending on education, healthcare and infrastructure.

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