Before the “referendum” Crimeans promised generous subsidies from the Russian budget, the welfare, quality of health care, upgrade infrastructure, fight corruption, announced that “the Ukrainian relic”. Instead of the promised abundance of citizens have economic crisis, high food prices, small salaries and the new levies, which “authorities” may enter at their own discretion.
Crimean the Council of Ministers, sent at the local “administrations”, district and city councils a letter of recommendation to fill up budgets of “municipal entities” by self-taxation of citizens. Crimeans have offered to chip in on the solution of local issues — roads, lighting, repair of social facilities, and so on. How much to pay and for what needs, asked to decide in a local referendum. The collection of signatures for its carrying out is not needed.
In the Crimean “government”, recalled that the self-taxation of citizens provided for by the Federal law on General principles of organization of local self-government. The document specified a number of criteria: payment must be ad hoc, are required to pay only the citizens of Russia living in the territory, the payment amount is set to a specific amount, not a percentage, and is the same for all payers.
Offer to collect money for repair of roads and other municipal needs is not delighted by the Crimean inhabitants. People before the “referendum” talked about “rich in Russia,” promised big salaries, generous financing from the Federal budget, but the result was the opposite. Now they have to solve local problems at their own expense. And given the high prices for food, manufactured goods, and a modest (by Russian standards) salaries.
Most likely, the Crimean the Council of Ministers, acting on orders from Moscow. “The authorities” decided to impose new exactions of the Crimean people for several reasons. First — the unfavorable macroeconomic situation in Russia. The calculation for the lifting of sanctions were not justified, a resource-based economy at current prices for oil have reached the limit of profitability. The so-called “reserve Fund” is close to exhaustion. Last year, the authorities have several times climbed in the financial coffers, and “potbelly” has decreased four times. Now the Fund has less than a trillion rubles. Given the scale of the country and the dynamics of expenditure on security forces, the money will run out soon. Remains “sovereign wealth Fund”, but how much of it “live” currency, is not known.
The country’s de facto launched the campaign for the re-election of Vladimir Putin as President. The government will do everything to preserve the pensions and other “critical” payments at a reasonable level. The budget “hole” will be plugged at the expense of the population. In the Central government considering the option of withdrawal from the pockets of Russians about 1.2 trillion rubles for the “acceleration in GDP growth”. In fact we are talking about a new devaluation of the ruble.
The myth of “rich in Russia” comes to an end. The authorities live by the principle “a day to stand, hold the night”. It is logical that the presidential administration decided to hold a vote on the day of “annexation” of the Crimea. Other “carrots” to the electorate, the Kremlin has no “Krymnash” coupe “rising from its knees” on the territory of Donbass and Syria.
The second reason for the introduction of new levies lies in the distribution of Federal spending on Crimea and the scheme of grants allocated to cities and districts of the Republic. According to the assurances of officials that Russia plans to allocate to the needs of the Crimea about 155 billion rubles. For comparison, last year events in the framework of the Federal target program financed (if you believe the reports) to 22.3 billion.
In reality, of the 155 billion Crimeans will get a smaller part. The main item of expenditure — the notorious construction of the Kerch bridge, which is engaged in the Moscow oligarch Arkady Rotenberg. The General public, he is known as one of “Putin’s friends”. Judging by the dynamics, Moscow decided to spend the money on the bridge at an accelerated pace. All other expenses on the Crimea are treated as secondary. In practice, this resulted in a significant reduction of the budgets of the Crimean cities and districts. Cut them at the expense of subsidies from the Crimean budget, which in turn depends entirely on the Russian Treasury. Compared to last year budgets, Kerch, Feodosia and Evpatoria reduced in 3 times, Armyansk and Krasnoperekopsk reduced 4-5 times. The expenditure on officials is constantly growing.
In the end, the money is not enough even for basic needs. Officials “Council of Ministers” telling people that “lot of money”, I order the local “authority” to tax citizens additional levies. The law is written so that new taxes can be entered at the initiative of local authorities. The referendum — just the cover. The norm of the non-requirement of collection of signatures gives a possibility to organize operetta “vote” using it to pensioners and state employees. In the Republican “government” does not fear the negative reaction of the Crimean people. “Power” was already used to the fact that public opinion can be neglected.
Sergey Stelmakh and Crimean political observer (name and surname of the author changed for security purposes).