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Third Part of the Russian Families Spend Third Part of Their Incomes on Foodstuff

Third Part of the Russian Families Spend Third Part of Their Incomes on Foodstuff

"There was never in Russia such social inequality as we have now", - the head of Federal State Statistics Service Alexander Surinov says. It explains paradox at the first sight results of social survey carried out by his service: on the one hand, the share of poor population in Russia is decreasing, on the other hand last years Russians began to eat better, buy more mobile phones and cars.

Average family in Russia today spends up to 25% of incomes on food and it's not the best indicator, the head of Federal State Statistics Service says referring to the results of survey called "Russian citizen in the mirror of consumption" declared by him on September, 27. The number of such families doesn't decrease.

Here you are comparative data on the share of incomes of the Russian family spent on purchase of food (the less this share, the better the family lives):

1990 - 36,1%

2000 - 49,4%

2005 - 36,1%

2008 - 21,9%

2009 - 33,7%

From editorial board: There's a clear target before Federal State Statistics Service - to find out what share of income of the family could be safely deducted in the form of tax on realty without causing social rage. At that greediness of the government exceeded even considerations of personal security - they understand that it could cause rage but they desperately want money. They want money to such an extend that they are ready to discuss raise of taxes even on the eve of presidential and parliament elections.

It's clear that we have different tasks. Whether we should care of taxes which they waste on own prosperous living?

We are interested in connection between short lifetime of the average Russian and his standard of living including quantity and quality of foodstuff consumed by him.

Average Russian - it's a citizen and prices for foodstuff are more important for him, than harvest and other things (though it's cleat that these things are interconnected). Citizen gets food not in forest or in the garden but in super-, hypermarket. Accordingly level of his consumption totally depends on reasons to which he has no connection.

What does the third part of family incomes which is spent in average on food mean (for some reason the head of Federal State Statistics Service considers that 33,7% is the forth part)? It means that the rest needs of the family are significantly decreased. Good book now goes under the price of sufficient piece of sausage of not very good quality. It's understandable that when you need to make a choice, the book remains on the shelf of the shop.

Why of "not very good quality" sausage? Because when you eat up the third part of incomes, you choose the second between good or cheap. There would be as well spaghetti instead of apricots, beer instead of juice and again spaghetti instead of ... sea food. At that the price of spaghetti will be also low.

As soon as general increase in price for foodstuff today - worldwide process and in big Russian cities more than a half of food is imported, the share in family income spent on purchase of food will increase. Let's look at the maximum share - in 2000, after the crisis of 1998. There's no need to tell how it was, many of us remember it well. Lifetime in that period was, obviously, the shortest for half of a century.

If we are far now from it? We are as far from it as from poor late Gorbachev 1990 (when depositors of Sberbank were already robbed and "pavlov's" monetary reform had been already spent) - this level is considered "satisfied", the government is proud of this level of consumption. Data of Federal State Statistics Service doesn't include period of Gaydar's reform when people were really starving. Period after the crisis of 1998 - is just in the middle - it's already not starvation but there's already nothing to eat.

If world prices for foodstuff will be increased at least by third, it would be for us approximately "Gaydar's" level. With all following consequences. Though it doesn't change intention of the government to raise taxes.

So, we advise you to get engaged in home canning - or to start going to shooting gallery.

Аnatoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk


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