Russian Audit Chamber says draft budget is far too optimistic

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 17 Oct 2019 by Alex Teddy

The Russian Audit Chamber published a damning analysis of the 2020-22 draft budget on October 11. The Audit Chamber said that the growth forecast is pie in the sky. Claims of rising incomes are bogus and spending plans are unrealisticThe draft federal budget is predicated on a GDP growth of 1.7% or better in 2020 and 3.1% in 2021. The Audit Chamber slammed this as lacking any grounding reality. The Ministry of Economic Development said that GDP will speed up due to investment in fixed assets reaching 6.5% in 2021. The Audit Chamber dismisses this as nonsense. In the first half of 2019 investment growth was only 0.6%. The Ministry of Economic Development's forecasts have so often been wrong and consistently wrong in an optimistic direction. Their forecasts do not add up based on present growth rates. The Audit Chamber (AC) says growth will be 2% at best by 2022. In real terms incomes will remain stable if not decline. The government says it will grow by 2.3% in 2022. The poverty rate is 13% in Russia and it is growing says the AC and not shrinking as government pretends. The AC castigates the government for severely under spending on education and health despite promises to do so. The AC projects that the government will receive USD 11 billion less in revenue than it expects 2020-22. The resultant spending cuts will come in social services and never in defense.

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