Olga Golodets — RBC: “People need to pay well to think about investing”

Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets told RBC at the Sochi investment forum, how to hold in Russia a skilled workforce, where to find incentives for economic growth and what to do with pensions and taxes

About the cost of labor

— You said today that labor cost in Russia is undervalued and not qualified personnel. Why?

Today there is a lively discussion about investment, technical upgrading, and raises the question of the cost of labor. In Russia we have 4.9 million people are paid by 7,5 thousand RUB You can imagine the qualifications of the person who receives such wages? Even if he just graduated from secondary school and General education do we need for all citizens of the Russian Federation, his salary, by definition, should be higher: the skills that he has got more expensive. Such a minimum wage level is nowhere. And the fact that today the cost of labor and labor costs so greatly subsided, is a sign of some imbalance in our economy. In 2016 the share of the wage Fund in the Russian economy [GDP] stood at 23% and this is significantly less than in all other countries of the world. That is why our young people seek to move to other countries. We do not support them, competition for the labor cost of the same qualification. In order to keep talented young people should be well paid and to think about investments, including investments in human capital in the workplace.

But not all young people want to work. We have trouble with productivity, what are the obstacles to growth?

— Our young people want to work, and youth unemployment we have low. But people want to realize themselves, their potential and earn a decent wage. It is a natural human desire. Businesses that work well in our market, for example, pharmaceutical, easy to attract young people, including those who had worked abroad. They are good working conditions, and this is a crucial factor in the development of the Russian economy.

On pensions

— What model is needed for our pension system?

— I think we need to stop to reform this system. It is based on principles which are accepted in almost all of Europe, it’s closest to the German model and should be easy to evolve in order to provide a decent pension. Today, the increasing income of the pension system will allow us to proportionally increase the pension of each citizen. For society and for business, a very important factor of stability. Therefore, the evolution of measures aimed at the increase in fees, increasing the responsibility of employers for the payment of insurance premiums, — the steps which will enable us eventually to have a higher pension.

— Accumulative part in something transformered?

We do not discuss.

About essential medicines

— At the end of last year, President Vladimir Putin instructed to adjust the price of vital medicines. How is it going with this process? Is he, in your opinion, complaining of the high cost of such preparations in Moscow, which drew the attention of the former leadership of the 62nd hospital?

— I think this is a different question. On the list of essential drugs we conduct special monitoring, it is delivered to the government on the basis of weekly measurement of prices in pharmacies of different regions. According to Rosstat, in 2016 the growth of prices for this kind of drugs was 1.4% is significantly less than inflation. Of course, there are taking serious restrictive measures, and the danger is not the rise in prices — the prices are regulated and monitored very seriously, and the possibility of the disappearance of certain drugs. And our task — to control a whole range of drugs, so they disappeared from circulation. As soon as there is such a threat, we will come with other offers. For example, now considering a proposal for subsidizing producers of essential drugs to ensure that we managed to keep these drugs at a price level available for the consumer. Until the situation is under control. We, of course, it helps the program of import substitution, because it gives our consumers a large number of domestic products, which in General belong to a different price segment.

— There is a draft anti-crisis plan of the government. According to some information, in this respect, virtually no social spending, particularly on programs related to HIV. Is it really so? If so, what is your attitude to all this?

— The HIV programme entered to the Federal budget. Its funding for this year amounted to 15 billion rubles, the Ministry of health is engaged in the purchase of drugs, and it will fundamentally change the situation with the localization of HIV in some regions of Russia, where it is a real problem. Chelyabinsk region, Sverdlovsk region, Ekaterinburg, the Crimea and some other regions.

Photo: Oleg Yakovlev / RBC

On the execution of the may decrees

— Saying that the may decrees to be impossible, since they have no money. How will this problem be solved?

— Funds for the may decrees laid in full at the Federal, regional and municipal levels. By 1 January 2018 decrees strictly needs to be done across all categories. This issue is under strict control.

— It is believed that the need for their implementation is missing. In particular, it expresses the head of the CSR Alexei Kudrin.

Is the issue of decent work. You would want your child taught by a teacher whose salaries are in Moscow, for example, is 12 thousand rubles.? Pay determines the quality of personnel. The basis of the may decrees — a completely balanced position, according to which the teacher’s salary must not be less than the average for the region. And as practice shows, when it is at a level in school people come with a good education, people who are interested in training children in the use of modern technology, the development of different innovative forms of education. This is a very correct trend.

But may orders were taken in a different economic reality, for other oil prices. Since then they have fallen significantly.

We tend to focus on the price of oil and thus to compare themselves with States that have no such source of income, like oil. So we have normal, easy to move and change our economy, to invest in its diversification. I have already mentioned that the net profit of our businesses for the last two years has increased significantly. Our economists said that as soon as the profit will increase, the economy comes to investments, but this has not happened. Profit increased in 2015 compared to 2014, more than 75%, and investment in the economy declined by 9%. The same thing happened in 2016. So the money is there, but the enterprises have no incentives to invest in the development of the Russian economy. Change is a stimulus, it is today the main priority for Russian economists. And it should be done.

Encourage growth

— Where to find incentives for growth in the economy?

— Only in the interest of employers, entrepreneurs, investments in the economy. The money in the economy is the amount of savings to date is 23 trillion rubles. the Question is where the money is invested. As far as I can see from all reports, deposits of enterprises up to 11 trillion is enough money for economic development.

— Does the agenda of the government, the law on “parasites”?

— We now this topic is not discussed.

— What is the situation with unemployment?

— Unemployment is not increasing, it stays at a stable level of 5.4%. Registered unemployment is not increasing, and the number of vacancies in the data Bank, we have remained stable at the level of 0.9—1 million Over the past year, we have new jobs were employed with the support of the state through the special site “Work in Russia” more than 4 million people. People change jobs, people are looking for her and they manage to find jobs. Supply in the labor market today is.

On the social sphere and tax

— Completing the theme of education: we say that if there are normal salary, will be high-quality staff, good people, new technology. However, saying that largely due to the low prestige, low wage level, teaching staff, teacher training has decreased significantly. Do you agree? What to do with it?

In this area is already very serious, uses a variety of mechanisms, for teachers introduced new professional standards, which they have to be retrained. When we teachers discuss current issues, including those relating to the transition to a new professional standard, the teachers genuinely talk about their pain points. For example, today, and this is a serious problem, few teachers willing to work with children with disabilities. Teachers say: “These children have never been in our classrooms, in our schools. This particular specialty which we need to master”. This process took time, three years, and today we have teachers who are ready to work in inclusive education system that can teach healthy children and children with disabilities. The question of remuneration is very important because to motivate any teacher to improve their skills, dedication, serious work needs including decent wages.

— The chamber recently made comments after checking the social sphere. In particular, according to the audit, insufficient results were shown health, had claims on other areas. You’ve probably seen this report — I agree with the comments?

— Function of any Supervisory authority — to comment. And our task is to practice them. According to one of the comments, we are not fully satisfy the need for preschool for children from three to seven years, and in turn be about 50 thousand children. We see this issue yourself: firstly, two regions later joined the program, that the Crimea and Sevastopol; second, there are regions which originally entered into it with zero base. It is primarily Dagestan, where a lot of children, and preschool virtually no. We continue to implement this program. This question applies primarily to financial support in these regions. Of course, we understand those comments, which speak to us, and work on them.

— Now there is a debate on tax maneuvers: for example, discusses the scheme 21% 21% (VAT/insurance). Here, at the Sochi forum, discussed income tax. What is your position: do I need to do tax reform, you need to change something in the tax system?

— It seems to me that stability for business and for workers is crucial. I’m all in favor of the evolutionary approach, because any hasty decisions without proper oversight, lead to negative results, including economic, I’m not talking about social. We have a strategic model, we use it, and it gives a good progressive results. Striving constantly to reform and radically change primarily will affect the Economics of our enterprises.

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