By his decree, Russian President Vladimir Putin excluded certain territories of Karelia from the regions of the Far North and equivalent areas. The deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Karelia from Yabloko Emilia Slabunova told us that there is no clarity about the consequences of this step yet, but in the worst case the local population will lose up to 80% of their income.
In 1993, the first president of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, signed a decree, thanks to which the Belomorsky, Kaleval’sky, Kemsky and Loukhsky districts of Karelia were attributed to the regions of the Far North. In addition, the areas equated to the regions of the Far North are the territories of Kondopoga, Lakhdenpohsky, Medvezhyegorsky, Muezersky, Olonetsky, Pitkyarantsky, Prionezhsky, Pryazhinsky, Pudozhsky, Segezhsky, Suoyarvsky districts; the cities of Kostomuksha, Petrozavodsk and Sortavala.
State employees of the regions of the Far North in Russia are entitled to the so-called northern allowances – from 30 to 100%.
“First of all, it should be noted that we do not yet know for sure what the consequences of Putin’s decree will be. Some of my colleagues believe that nothing terrible will happen at all, because our allowances are enshrined in other documents, including the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone. But the problem is that the Strategy is not a law, ”Slabunova told MK.
The deputy wants to believe that we are dealing with a simple failure of bureaucratic decisions, otherwise the republic will face difficult times. “Depending on the region of Karelia a person lives in, he will lose from 65 to 80% of his income, which is formed as northern allowances. The republic will fundamentally fail in tax collection. At the same time, the salaries of our teachers and doctors were already low. Many of them prefer to find a job in St. Petersburg, where, without any allowances, it is higher than ours. The outflow of the population is so great that in a year less than 600 thousand people will live in Karelia, ”says Slabunova.
The deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Karelia believes that in this case the decision of the federal center will be absurd. However, Slabunova believes that officials could not fail to understand this, so she is waiting for 14:00, when clarifications should be received.
At the same time, the ex-chairman of the Yabloko party stressed that so far the allowances have been paid not from the federal, but from the republican budget. Slabunova believes that it would be correct not to abolish them, but to shift them from the regional authorities to the federal ones. Since this is not done, local businesses are forced to pay higher taxes, which affects the competitiveness of Karelian goods and services.
Meanwhile, State Duma deputy from Karelia Valentina Pivnenko claims that the northern allowances will not be canceled – this will most likely be explained in a detailed government decree that will follow the presidential decree. At the same time, Pivnenko called the decree “unexpected”.
Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov promised journalists to clarify the story of the Karelian northern allowances, suggesting that the changes are just a kind of “technical moment.”