The theme of the increase in VAT from 18% to 20%, in contrast to the theme of raising the retirement age does not receive extensive coverage on Federal TV channels. This conclusion can be done by analyzing the content of informational and analytical programs.
The upcoming pension reform devoted the largest shares of the total issues of national television. The plot in the final program of Dmitry Kiselyov called optimistic — “Live!”. Numerous experts from different fields was mentioned by the European experience, talked about the need to improve the quality of life of the Russian pensioners; and reportage pieces about how unfairly that older people in Russia barely make ends meet, were also given statistics that the current demographic situation after some time, the number of workers and pensioners in Russia is almost equal. Kiselev also said that President Vladimir Putin personally in the discussion of pension reform has not yet joined and that fall will get on the table a compromise draft to be prepared by the government. An hour and a half program places the story on the increase of VAT by 2% not at all.
The subject was discussed in the program “Sunday evening with Vladimir Solovyov” on “Russia-1”. As is usually the case in recent years, a large part of the show was dedicated to international politics, but in its Central part Soloviev interviewed the new Deputy Prime Minister for social sector Tatyana Golikova. Mostly it was about pension reform, Golikova gave a similar argument about improving the quality of life of people touched on the topic of non-payment of pensions in the 90-ies. About VAT mentioned in passing that there was an option to increase this tax to 20% and to 22%, but “that would be crossing the border sensitivity”, and that extra money in the budget will be directed on social payments.
The main speaker on the subject of the VAT increase in news releases — first Deputy Prime Minister for financial Affairs Anton Siluanov. Quoted his statement that the VAT increase will give the Federal budget more than 600 billion per year, which will help to Finance “national development” under the new the may decree of Putin.
In the newscasts of First channel and “Russia-1” subject to the increase in VAT was usually back to back with the theme of raising the retirement age, but without big interviews, and expert opinions with reference to the increasing social responsibility of business and the equalization of living of Russians.
A source close to the presidential administration, says that the VAT increase is unlikely to cause public protests and mass action. But raising the retirement age such a risk, so he paid special attention on Federal TV. The same source suggests that the moderator of the discussion between the government and the business community on VAT can become a business-Ombudsman Boris Titov. In the apparatus Titova Znak.com said that the Ombudsman has been actively discussing the issue of increasing VAT in their Party’s Growth, however, while the format of public debate on the platform of the device for the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs has not yet been determined.
Member of the Board of Directors of the Expert Institute of social studies (AISI) Gleb Kuznetsov believes that the VAT is incomprehensible and does not cause a response in the mass consciousness of the subject in the public agenda it doesn’t exist.
“From a human point of view it looks like a strange increase tax by two percentage points. Given that the interests of business we publicly political representation have not, this theme may not “tune up” on the background of such high-profile topics as the world Cup or pensions,” — said Kuznetsov.
Subject to VAT is simply not so noticeable, especially when you retain the tax benefits are for children’s products, food, medicines, books and so on, says political analyst Alexei Makarkin.
“Here the most socially sensitive and emotionally perceived it would be a problem of cancellation of privileges. The topic of VAT — deferred action, a feeling that you don’t want to attract attention, not to “stir the waters”. Will continue to act on the situation. Previous price increases society though with a quiet discontent, but took comparing them with 90-mi years, where the price tags were changing almost every week. So likely to act on the situation. In principle, the theme can be dangerous in the framework of a cumulative effect (i.e. increase in the retirement age plus VAT plus any current negative factors that are currently difficult to calculate),” says Makarkin.
In the minds of many not too educated in matters of the economy citizens of the VAT at the moment not updated. It is possible that the ordinary man in the street believes that it is this tax does not apply, says head of the Political expert group Konstantin Kalachev.
“Man in the street believes that pays the tax business and let him pay. But in reality, the entire amount of this tax pays for in the end the buyer. Question one: who is the man in the street willing to explain? Apparently, there is no one to do it, and the increase is not as great because the government is not particularly worried. Although the theme, if you associate it with higher prices, for the opposition it is working,” says Kalachev.
In contrast to the problem of raising the retirement age, close and understandable for anyone over fifty, topic VAT massive voter incomprehensible and not very interesting, says analyst Abbas Gallyamov.
“Probably why the authorities are not much concerned for her interpretation. Itself is high risk, it is not. This problem can arise only in the case that someone from the opposition will formulate and begin to purposefully introduce a thesis: “the Prices in the stores do not grow by themselves, but because of the power increase VAT. It’s not natural, and man-made disaster, another mechanism for the removal of the regime of the people’s money“. However, already voiced the idea that the VAT increase is an additional burden on business, because it needs to bear its share of financial responsibility for the forthcoming reform, it is recognized correct from a propaganda point of view. People like power, “shear” business” — Gallyamov.
The VAT increase amid pension reform, has such a significant social values, believes head of the analytical Department of the Center for political technologies, Tatyana Stanovaya.
“If the retirement age can be protests to protect the VAT rate at 18% no one will come out. There is a significant political component. And that means that there is no need to work on this problem.
In General, the message of the authorities sounds like this:, have to suffer not only you but also the business, who will have to “fork”. The game is on the sense of social injustice. But this was all limited.
In addition, it does not look too convincing: because of VAT ultimately paid by the consumer”, says Stanovaya, adding that the business in this situation looks faceless and suitable objects for “dispossession” to appease the people.
The topic of taxes much less sensitive, ordinary citizens do not even expect personal income tax, and many sincerely believe that paid their taxes reduced to personal income tax, says the head of Fund “the Petersburg policy” Michael Vinogradov. Even about the premiums paid by the employer, many do not know. According to him, the topic of taxes “is significant for those who are able to distinguish millions of billions”.
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