Non-monetary benefits.

There is a system of non-monetary benefits provided to certain categories of citizens. There are federal benefits provided on the whole territory of Russia at the expense of the Federal Budget. There are also regional and local benefits provided by the regions. The most important federal benefits are: free travel by public transport; free medicine; substantial allowance for the utility services, electricity, gas, water etc.; the right to free travel within Russia once a year, and some others.

In the Soviet Union non-monetary benefits were granted to certain, rather small groups of citizens. In the 1980s and 1990s the benefits were considered as a form of safety net and the amount of people entitled for the benefits increased dramatically. It is believed that in practice non-monetary benefits feed corruption and impede development of the affected services. From January 1, 2005, some benefits were replaced by monetary payments. In average the reform was beneficial to people, but some categories, as for example those who needed free medicine, suffered. Additionally the government underestimated the complexity of the project and a number of organisational mistakes were made. As a result protests took place all around Russia.

 

 

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