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Living Standards and Income Inequality inSelected Regions: Development of Targeted Social AssistancePrograms

Moscow

2001

Важным элементом повышения результативностисоциальной защиты населения является реформирование системы социальных льгот,сложившейся в рамках социалистических распределительных отношений и неотвечающей современной социально-экономической ситуации. В этих условияхвозникает объективная необходимость в выработке новых механизмов реализациисистемы государственных социальных льгот. Исследованию этих вопросов ипосвящена настоящая работа. Сформулированы принципиальные ориентиры общейнаправленности реформирования системы льгот.

Авторский коллектив:

С российскойстороны: I. Kolosnitsyn, Е. Kitova, А. Surinov, Т.Chijelikova, S.Shashnov

С канадскойстороны: Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman

Исследование и публикация осуществлены врамках проекта CEPRA (Российско-Канадский консорциум по вопросамприкладных экономических исследований), финансируемого Канадским АгентствомМеждународного Развития (CIDA)

Редактор: Н.Главацкая

Верстка: А.Астахов

ISBN5-93255-037-6

Лицензия на издательскуюдеятельность ИД №02079 от 19 июня 2000 г.

103918, Москва, Газетный пер., 5

Тел. (095) 229–6413, FAX (095) 203–8816

E-MAIL– root @iet.ru,WEB Site – http://www.iet.ru


CONTENTS

1. Funding of federal mandates regulating theexpenditure on the fulfillment of social obligations of the government at theregional level

2. Methodological Aspects o Social AssistanceTargeting (separate note)

3. Analysis of Household Income andCosumption Differentiation

4.The Post-Welfare State in Canada:Income-Testing and Inclusion

Introduction

Core Concepts in Canadian SocialPolicy

Income Security Reform in Canada

Roots of Reform: Canadian Context

Overhaul of Social Assistance and ChildBenefits

Elderly Benefits: Uneasy Compromise

between Universalist andPost-Welfare Models

Conclusi

5.Lessons for the Russian Federation from theReform of Income Security Programs in Canada

6. Post=Welfare State: Canadian Expirience ofDesigning Social Policies

1. Fundingof federal mandates regulating the expenditure on the fulfillment of socialobligations of the government at the regional level

According to the Russian Constitution,implementation of the social policy (including social protection and socialassistance to the population) is the concurrent responsibility of federal andregional (subnational authorities). One of the key current issues of socialreform is the existence of a considerable amount of social obligationsestablished by the effective federal legislation, which are not funded by thefederal budget. In other words, the numerous legal acts of the federal level(laws or regulations introduced by federal agencies) assigning to thesubnational authorities additional expenditure powers that are not back-upped (or are partly back-upped) with financing sources, are still in effect.Such powers (or “federal mandates”) to a significant extent are embodied insocial payments, subsidies, benefits and other payments. Numerous groups of thepopulation (alias “categories”) are entitles to these benefits. By someminimal estimates, the overall amount of these payments is equivalent to a. 8%of Russia’s GDP. Inpractice subnational budgets are able to finance roughly 30-40% of all theoutstanding federal mandates

The current national system of socialbenefits, subsidies and compensations is rather mixed and comprises separateand poorly arranged fragments. At present, the social protection of populationforms rather a complex and sometimes confusing system that comprisesvarious benefits and social payments. Subsidies and compensations to differentcategories of residents, social support to the needy, subsidies to enterprisesand institutions producing goods and delivering services to thepopulation.

. Just for 9 typesof social subsidies and compensations (including the monthly child benefit) thenumber of recipients amounts to RUR M45.5. The federal law sets roughly 156kinds of social payments, benefits, subsidies extended to 236 differentcategories of the population (for example to such broadly defined categories,as veterans, children, handicapped, students etc.)

The currentmis-match between the obligations and appropriationscan be illustrated, as follows: in 1999, the expenditure of consolidated budgeton the outlays under the section “Social policy” made up RUR 74.5 bln, i.e.1.7% of GDP, while to fund the benefits and subsidies set at the federal levelat the full rate, one would have needed, according to differentestimates, at least 5 to10 times more funds.

The bulk of local authorities’ expenditures in terms of socialprotection of the population induced by the federal mandates is related to animplementation of the following federal laws:

  • “On veterans” of January 12, 1995 # 5-FZ;
  • “On state subsidies to citizens having children” of May 19, 1995,# 81-FZ;
  • “On social protection of handicapped in RF” of November 24, 1995,# 181-FZ;
  • “On social services to the elderly citizens and handicapped” ofAugust 2, 1995, # 12-FZ.

In Russian Federation, the system of socialbenefits and subsidies comprises nationwide, regional, and sectoral components.The sources for their funding are: the federal budget, the budget system of theSubject (Region) of RF, and extra-budgetary funds. The latter include thePension Fund, the Fund for Social Insurance, the Employment Fund, The Fund forCompulsory Medical Insurance, and the Fund for Social Support of Population.

Table 1.1

SPENDING ON MAINTENANCE OF THE SOSICAL PROTECTION SYSTEM INRUSSIAN FEDERATION FROM PUBLIC RFUNDS BETWEEN 1995 TO 1999

(RUR. Trln.)


Total

Including



вas % of

ВGDP

PensionFund

Pension Fund

Fund for Social Insurance

Employment Fund

The Federal Fund for the compulsory medical Insurance

Territorial Funds for the compulsory medical Insurance

Republican Fund for social support of the population




Total

Including











Federal budget

Budgets of the Subjects of the Federation







1995.

256,5

5,7

129,1

19,6

109,5

88,7

17,5

6,4

0,5

14,2

0,13

1996

374,3

16,6

188,4

27,5

160,9

129,6

26,8

7,3

0,8

21,3

0,06

1997

515,2

20,4

270,5

61,5

209,0

176,6

30,4

8,8

1,1

27,8

0,03

1998. (RUR Bln.)

484,2

18,0

245,7

61,7

184,0

167,0

31,1

8,6

1,3

30,4

0,08

1999. (RURbln.)

740,9

16,2

365,4

85,0

280,4

271,4

43,9

12,0

2,0

46,0

0,2

The formation of social programs is alwaysrelated to the need in solving the problem of identification of an optimalcorrelation between the income levels, social transfers and paid and free, andprivileged services to different groups of population. The introduction ofmarket mechanism implies the establishment of a social protection system basedupon principles of the government ensuring some minimum of consumption ofsocial goods at its expense and with its help (through a compulsory minimalinsurance available at the expense of both of the employer and the concreteindividual) and on the opportunity to raise the “level” ofindividual’s ownprotection on the basis of his (her) voluntary current expenses for the notedpurposes, for the sake of the future consumption.

Whilst evaluating the role of public socialprograms in forming the consumption and the population’s income in terms of aconcrete household, one should not proceed just from the nationwide criteria(group of recipients, frequency of the receipt of services, the extent to whichthe concrete producer or consumer is subsidized, etc). One needs to take intoan account specific conditions for the concrete region and settlement, for theimplementation of concrete social programs (exclusive of the federalguarantees) falls under municipal authorities’ competence.

In this respect, to optimize the proceduresof estimating indigence, the development of targeted programs of social supportsuggests taking into account cross- and intra-regional differences income andpopulation’sconsumption.

All the receipts oriented to the formationof final consumption from the social protection system may be distinguishedinto three groups.

-monetary payments (pensions, allowances,etc.);

-benefits in a form of the right forlowered taxes, receipt of transfers in natural form, etc.;

-social services consumed free or at aprice with no economic significance.

The Russian law lacks a strict definition ofbenefits as a legal category. Sometimes benefits are closer to socialguarantee, while a certain part of benefits bears the characteristics ofprivilege. In contrast to guarantees that are provided to all the population,regardless of their age, gender, social position, residence (for example, allthe residents a guaranteed with the right for the health protection or with theright for sanctity of the home) or main socio-demographic strata of thepopulation (all the pensioners are guaranteed with pensions), specialpreferences (benefits) are provided to narrower population groups (pregnantwomen, children from families with three or more children or form incompletefamilies, small peoples, etc.) within the frame of the noted bigsocio-demographic groups, according with a professional or statusfeature..

It should be noted that the differencebetween benefits and privileges is rather vague, because they both bear suchcharacteristics as exception from the general rule, raisingsubjects’ lifestandards; they also have a social (group) or a professional-group nature.Should there be an excessive improvement in position of single individuals whoare, anyway, wealthy enough and find themselves on higher levels of the socialstairs, which intensifies the socio-economic differentiation of the population,it is privileges that should be considered. The existence of privilegescontradicts the concept of formation of legal state and undermines both theprinciple of general equity and the principle of social equality. Theprivilege, in turn, is understood as the improvement of the subject’s position that allows him (her)to satisfy his (her) own interests to a greater extent and manifests itselfboth in a provision of additional, special rights (advantages) and indismissing from his (her obligations).

The following features are characteristicof social benefits:

First, those are exceptions from generalrules, a way of social differentiation.

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