Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a law on amending the federal budget in 2018, which approved further cuts in social security spending and increased funding for the defense industry complex and law enforcement agencies.
According to the document published on the Kremlin's website, the budget will be reduced for the first time since 2011 without a "hole": due to the rising oil prices and the weak ruble policy, the treasury will receive almost 3 trillion rubles of additional oil and gas revenues (prices above $ 40 per barrel) .
The total budget revenue will be 1.815 trillion rubles higher than the original law, and will amount to 17.073 trillion rubles.
But despite the influx of hydrocarbon revenues, a number of articles will undergo reduction, and the largest will concern allocations for the social provision of the population.
Expenditures under the item "social policy" will be cut by 53.4 billion rubles, including pension expenses by 51.5 billion rubles. As a result, the hole in the budget of the Pension Fund will increase by 1.5 times - from 158.9 to 265.5 billion rubles, and for its coverage it will be necessary to spend all available funds on the accounts of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, which remained from the population's contributions for the previous year.
Expenses under the state program "social support of citizens" will be reduced by 6.6 billion rubles, mainly due to savings on "measures to support disabled people" (2.2 billion rubles).
Saved funds will go primarily to finance the law enforcement agencies and the production of weapons. The costs for the police and other law enforcement agencies ("national security") will be increased by 27.3 billion rubles. This is 7 billion rubles more than the law on amendments to the budget suggested at the stage of entering the State Duma.
Including 6.6 billion rubles will be additionally paid to internal affairs agencies, 2.2 billion rubles to the prosecutor's office, and 0.73 billion to Rosgvardia.
Expenditures for the army will increase by 2.3 billion rubles in the open budget. Simultaneously, large-scale changes are laid in the secret part of the treasury, the first deputy chairman of the Duma's committee on economic policy, Vladimir Gutenev, told TASS in early June.
According to him, 97.4 billion rubles will be additionally allocated for the development of weapons.
"New resources will be invested in education, in digitalization of our economy, in hospitals and settlements there will be high-speed Internet, all this will give a new quality of life," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on July 4.
According to him, to finance these costs, the government raises VAT from 18% to 20%, which will allow to collect an additional 600 billion rubles a year.