Putin promises support for low-income families
An extension of the maternity capital programme until 2021, a broadening in the ways it can be used, assistance to families on the birth of their first child and a special mortgage lending programme are all things that low income families can expect to see in the near future.
A meeting of the National Children’s Strategy Coordinating Council chaired by the Russian President was held on 28 November in Moscow during which he emphasised the need to both increase social support for families and take measures to stabilise and prevent a decline in the Russian population over the next decade. “We need positive and consistent work, particularly in re-booting our demographic development work. As far as the birth rate is concerned, support for large and low income families and the creation of extra incentives for a second and third child is of prime importance”, said Putin.
The Kremlin website says that, as of January 2018, payments to low income families will begin with the birth of a couple’s first child until it is 18 months old. The sum will be calculated based on the minimum Federal child subsistence level. The average amount allocated in 2018 will, depending on the region, be 10,523 roubles, 10,836 roubles in 2019 and 11,143 roubles in 2020.
Vladimir Putin also proposed extending the maternity support programme until 31 December 2021 and to broaden the ways in which it can be applied, in particular by providing monthly maternity capital funds to particularly needy families. It will now be possible to use maternity capital to pay for pre-school education (for the care and supervision of a two-month old child).
A special mortgage programme is also to be introduced for families who have a second or a third child in 2018. When buying a home on the primary market or refinancing existing mortgages, families will be able to count on an annual State subsidised mortgage interest of in excess of 6%. “For example, according to the Bank of Russia, today’s average weighted mortgage interest rate is 10.5%, which means that, in this instance, the State will take on more than 4% of the cost of the loan. The Ministry of Housing believes that the programme could benefit over 500,000 families”, said Putin.
The mortgage lending programme envisages that the State will subsidise in excess of 6% of the mortgage interest rate on the birth of the second child for three years from the date the loan is given, and five years on the birth of the third child. For example, on the birth of the third child during the loan period, but no later than 31 December 2022, the loan will be extended for five years from the end of the loan received for the birth of the second child. In cases where the third child is born following the end of the loan received for the birth of the second child, the loan is renewed starting from the day the third child is born.
Among other issues touched on by Putin during the meeting was increasing the availability of and improvement in medical care for children. In particular, the Russian President called on regional authorities to start rebuilding children’s polyclinics and to equip them with modern equipment.