As long as the average per capita income isconcerned, the regional acts have proved to be more consistent than federal inpursuing the policy of differentiated approach to the provision of socialsupport. It should be also noted that because of the regionalbudgets’ arrears inpayment of children benefits, the regions accomplished their transitionto the targeted payment of this benefit earlier than the federal budget. Thprinciple of targeted nature of subsidies appears the key one in the course ofelaboration of programs on social support to deprived population ( theyare in place in every region and are adopted annually) and in the lists of theguaranteed public social services.
The regional normative and legal acts, as arule, usually follow the federal ones. Regions do not aspire to fill in thegaps in their law until the decision is made at the federal level; however, insome matters they are more advanced than the center: thus it has been alreadynoted above, many regions introduced laws or their Administrations’ resolutions concerning theprovision of targeted social support. Moreover, with those acts (to a certainextent, compulsory though, because of the deficit of sufficient budgetaryfunds) the administrations establish the principles that the federal lawlacks.
For example, with Law of the Khabarovsk Krai“On targeted social support of residents of the Kahbarovsk Krai” ( of March 1,1996, # 58), the Administration has introduced the following principles:differentiation of forms and amount of the provision of targeted social supportdue to the material, housing and family situation, age, ability to work,subsistence minimum level set in the Krai; the combination of the applicativeapproach in the course of the provision of targeted social support with itsgranting initiated by the social protection agencies ( Art.3). The bothlegislatively set principles are extremely important, moreover they receive thefurther development and implementation both in the law and other normative acts( and not solely in the Krai, in which they were formulated fairlydistinctively and consistently). The first principle clearly shows the targetednature of the support provided, while the other is also a key one for theentire social legislation.
The legal relationship in the socialprotection sphere emerge from the moment of submission of the applicationfor providing a certain kind of support. However, the submission of such anapplication implies the awareness of rights and benefits, which ismost likely to be an exclusion rather than a typical case. In addition, someindividuals needing the support are incapable to submit the application due toobjective reasons: primarily, it is the children suffering from familyviolence or cruel treatment, orphans, homeless children, as well as handicappedpersons, elderly, etc, who remain without protection.
In Chelyabinsk Oblast, the regionalAdministration enacted the law “On the coordinated regulation of the livingstandards of the residents of the Chelyabinsk Oblast” ( of 23 April, 1999, #73-ZO). The purpose of the law is stipulated in its preamble: the regulation ofa special type of social and legal relationships arising in the course ofelaboration, adoption and fulfillment of multilateral agreements determiningthe movement of all the Oblast’s social structures. The Law sets the composition of participantsin the process of negotiations, the procedure of coordination of commitments,functions of public control over fulfillment of obligations and theparties’responsibilities. The parties and participants in the process of negotiationsare: the Oblast’s government agencies, associations of producersand bankers, local self- governance bodies, representatives of the population (Art.5, p.2). Art. 8 of the Law provides for the execution of public controlover the population’sliving standards. Despite its somewhat declarative and populist nature, itsfundamental concept is unquestionably interesting.
To evaluate the level of an actualimplementation of the federal mandates at the level of RF Subjects, weconducted the analysis of the data provided by the RF Ministry of Financecompiled on the basis of the data collected in 63 regions. Table 2 contains thedata for 8 normative acts, in compliance with which the expenditure mandaterelated to the funding of social protection of the population isassigned to the level of the Federation’s Subjects.
The data on the proportion of funding of thefederal mandates related to the reassignment of the expenditure powers in thesocial protection sphere in 1999
Title of theLaw
Need in funding (MRUR)
Actual funding, MRUR
The proportion ofexecution of expenditure as per the law, as %
The law “On veterans”of 12 January 1995
“On social protectionof handicapped” of 24 November 1995
The law “On ChildrenBenefits” of 19 May 1995
The law “On the statusof military personnel” of 25 May 1998
The Decree ofPresident of RF “On measures on the support of families having many children”of 5 May 1992
The law “On education”of 13 January 1996
The law “Oncompensation payments for pupils’ meals” of 1 August 1996
The law “On socialservices of aged and handicapped persons of 2 August 1995
Source: authors’ calculations on the basis of thedata of the RF Ministry of Finance
Hence, given roughly the average 30%funding by the said circle of “social mandates”, it is only “professional”benefits- particularly fixed with the law on the status of militarypersonnel that are funded substantially better than the others, while themandates related to the provision of “privileged” goods or services- meals forpupils and the social services of handicapped and aged persons that arefunded the worst compared with the others. In the situation in whichbenefits are extended directly to the socially vulnerable groups of thepopulation, the priority of the respective budgetary expenditure proves to bethe lowest in terms of regional budgets.
The conclusion is also proved by calculationswith respect to funding the most socially significant mandates in theRussian regions. Thus, for example, in the Chuvash Republic the overall volumeof funding allocated to fulfill the law “On veterans”( within theframework of the law, 40 kinds of benefits for 20 categories of residentsare envisaged, and in 1999 the total amount of the respective allocations madeup a. RUR M 720). Almost 40% of the said expenditure was spent on compensationpayments to transportation companies and organizations, while housing andcommunal subsidies made up yet 20% of the aforementioned amount. In otherwords, even the actual funding of the federal mandates is arranged in such away that the major part of the funds allocated for social support are receivedby the transportation and housing and communal organizations rather than therecipient.
Data processing on funding the federalsocial mandates at the regional level demonstrates an extremely highinterregional range of indices that reflect the share of “real”funding.
In particular, in the framework of a programof the regional finance reform funded by the IBRD, specialists of LeontiefCenter (St. Petersburg) have made calculations on mandated and real expenditureof regional budgets on a veteran/disabled social assistance mandates in1999(Table 3).
Resources on social mandates for veterans anddisabled in 1999 (according to law and actual expenditure, RUR perperson)
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Source: data supplied by the financialdepartments of regional administrations, calculations of LeontiefCenter.
The spread in funded mandates in the givensample of regions amounts to six-fold in case of law on veterans, and tofifteen-fold in case of the law on social protection of invalids. At the sametime, it is feasible that such considerable range is partly explained by anincomplete comparability of methodology for calculations selected by certainfinancial departments.
The role of subsidies and privileges inhouseholds’ budgetswill be considered in section 3.
At the same time, the consideration andadoption of new legislation is under way, and such new laws do not take intoaccount the current legislation and the government financial capacity; thereare unjustified proposals introduced with respect to expansion of thecategories of citizens eligible for benefits or those that duplicate alreadyexisting benefits. As concerns practically all the bills, they aredrafted by members of different levels of legislature. Thus, on January 2,2000, revised Federal Law # 40-FZ “On veterans” was passed that introduced newcategories of veterans, for example those of the civil and municipal service,while the list of veterans of military operations was extended. The purpose ofthe adoption of the law undoubtedly is generous- that is, to strengthen thesupport to veterans in the course of implementation of reforms, and it isconsidered the most substantial bill in terms of the population to be coveredby that and budget costs. Originally, the Law “On veterans” should have beenembraced 6.5 mln. participants in the War, however, its effect has been spreadover another 20.5 mln veterans of labor and other categories of the population( in the last variant: veterans of the civil and municipal service, and theextended list of veterans of military operations) which apriori made itunrealistic in terms of its implementation..
The above diagram was made without regard to“new” categories of veterans, however, their existence would not have anyeffect on the general picture, providing that it is the veterans of labor(55.2%) and employees of the Home Front during the GPW (31.9%) that constitutethe major groups, while the persons survived through the Leningrad Blockageduring the GPW (1.2%), veterans of military service, Interior, prosecutors,justice and courts (0.9%), military personnel with their service in the rearduring the GPW (0.6), veterans of military operations in othercountries’territories (0.6%), and those who worked within the rear fronts borders duringthe GPW (0.2%) in total account for 3.4%.
As a follow-up to the noted revised law,there was a reactivation of the process of submission of proposals on itsamending aimed at the expansion of the list of recipients of social benefits.For instance, it was proposed to include in the group of the GPW veterans thecitizens who started their labor career being teenagers during the GPW andworked at the Home Front for not less than 6 months between June 22 1941through May 9, 1945, exclusive of the period of work in the temporarilyoccupied territories of the USSR, or those who worked up to 6 months andawarded with the USSR orders or medals for their selfless labor during the GPW,and children fighting in partisan brigades.
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