Meduza: The Kremlin is considering distributing money to Russians due to the bad economic situation

The Russian authorities are considering new payments to the population: officials fear that Russians who have returned from the summer holidays "will notice a sharp increase in prices" and employees of the affected industries will face layoffs. Cash payments, however small, should please the Russians and distract them from the economic consequences of the war with Ukraine. This is reported by Meduza, citing two sources close to the Presidential Administration.

“In the fall, people will return home both from vacations and from virtual participation in the “special operation”. What happens at home, they will not like it very much, ”says the interlocutor of the publication.

The interlocutors of the publication argue that autumn is a traditional time for the growth of social discontent. This year, an additional trigger is preparing children for the start of the school year: people compare how much they spent a year ago, before the war with Ukraine, and now, and thus notice the rise in prices. Both sources also note that the topic of "special operation" is starting to fade into the background: "people are getting tired of it," the publication claims.

“In principle, summer is a time of some kind of pause: it is warm, light, working days pass in the background. In autumn, everyone understands that winter is ahead, don’t expect anything good,” one of Meduza’s sources said.

To reduce social tension, the Kremlin is seriously considering the possibility of handing out money to the Russians - to make some small payments that will divert attention and please the population. Meduza's sources did not give a reason for such payments, although they did note that this method had already worked during the COVID-19 restrictions, when social tensions were growing.

“In the autumn they will try to throw money at the dissatisfied. Let these be relatively small amounts, but people will still be pleased to receive them, ”says the source of the publication.

The fact that social problems are growing in the regions was confirmed by The Insider's own sources close to the governors of two large Russian regions. However, there is no talk of any cash payments. Local authorities work in a progressive mode - they try to solve problems as they arise.

“This [increasing tension] is a very subjective opinion. First of all, it's always like this in autumn. Secondly, the prerequisites for the closure of factories and the growth of unemployment do not concern everyone, we even have a decrease in unemployment. If there is a crisis, they will isolate the affected social strata and support them (for example, it was like this during covid), but it’s not a fact that there will be trouble in the fall, ”said one of The Insider’s interlocutors.

During the pandemic, the Russian authorities really worked out a large-scale plan to support the population and businesses. Despite criticism of some measures (for example, credit holidays ), most of the decisions helped to reduce the degree of tension. In the current situation, the regional authorities do not yet expect large-scale support measures due to limited resources.

“We have the same [difficult] situation, a budget deficit is expected, since we were heavily dependent on Europe. But factories are not closing, there are no mass layoffs, we are looking for new buyers and we will find them. No one knows about the distribution of money to the population, ”said another interlocutor of The Insider, noting, however, that the federal center “doesn’t stand on ceremony with the regional authorities” and they can learn about such decisions already “in fact”.

In March 2022, the Russian authorities have already implemented a large-scale program of social payments for families with children aged 8 to 16. 455 billion rubles were allocated from the budget for these tasks - a fairly large amount, comparable to the monthly budget revenue from oil and gas revenues (770 billion rubles in July). According to the results of July, the Russian budget surplus was estimated at 482 billion rubles, although the dynamics was negative.

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