Meeting on social issues 2021-01-05 18:10:00 Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region Vladimir Putin held a videoconference meeting on social issues. Government members and heads of regions spoke at the meeting. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova touched upon the establishment of a foundation to support children with serious life-threatening and chronic diseases including rare diseases, as well as increasing the availability of places in day nurseries and kindergartens and arranging hot meals for primary students. Minister of Labour and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov reported on the measures to support families with children in need and on another pension indexation. In his report, Minister of Construction Irek Faizullin described the progress made in improving living conditions of families needing special support from the government, first and foremost, large families, and executing the programme to demolish hazardous and dilapidated housing. All of the issues mentioned were reflected in reports of the heads of regions: Novgorod Region Governor Andrei Nikitin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Irkutsk Region Governor Igor Kobzev, Kaluga Region Governor Vladislav Shapsha, Arkhangelsk Region Governor Alexander Tsybulsky and Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov. * * * President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon, I would like to begin by welcoming you and by wishing you a happy New Year once again. And here’s what I would like to say at the beginning. Of course, everything we are doing – and our Government and other agencies have many issues to address on a daily basis – is interconnected. It is clearly impossible to manage finances or develop the economy without macroeconomic stability, which also means that it is impossible to ensure the state’s military capability and security without developing them. However, our ultimate goal is to make people’s lives better, which means that addressing social issues must always be at the top of our list. Today, just ahead of Orthodox Christmas, I would like to discuss these very issues, in the broadest sense of the word, and above all, those that concern people in need of special support from the state. These issues are diverse, but they are united by one important thing – as I’ve already mentioned, it is the work of the state agencies on the social protection of our citizens and on the implementation of both previously issued instructions and those given in the new year, 2021. So let us get down to discussing these issues. I would like to give the floor to Ms Tatyana Golikova. But first I would like to say that here on my desk I have a draft Executive Order on establishing a fund, as we have agreed, a fund to support children with serious, life-threatening and chronic illnesses, including rare, or orphan, diseases. We have decided to call this fund the Circle of Kindness. Let me remind you that we will use the money received from the increased income tax applied to those citizens whose income exceeds five million rubles. Not the first five million, but everything that’s above five million. This means that we will receive additional revenue of about 60 billion rubles, so we have agreed to establish the fund I have mentioned and allocate this money to support children in need of expensive medicines. <…> Vladimir Putin: Thank you all, colleagues, for today’s work, among other things. We really have a few achievements on the federal and regional levels; I would go even further and say we have achieved a lot. However, you are all well aware that there is a great deal of problems in the social sphere and we did not touch on all of them today. For example, an issue that requires a separate discussion is the social contract mechanism. If in 2020 it was implemented as part of a pilot project in 21 regions, in 2021 all constituent entities of the Russian Federation will be taking part in this programme, which, as I believe, is extremely important. Its primary objective is to help families raise their incomes and overcome a difficult life situation. Simultaneously with the measures of targeted social support, it is extremely important for us to ensure a prompt recovery of the labour market, which is a crucial task. We must achieve a drop in the unemployment rate, and hence provide people with a stable income. I would like to stress that the issues of social and demographic policy, and measures to support Russian families, children and the elderly have always been our priorities. We made a special emphasis on this direction of our work last year as well. I would like to get back to what I mentioned at the beginning: that today we will be speaking about the problems of people who require the government’s special attention. But we must treat all social issues in 2021 with special attention. Please encourage all of our colleagues in the regions of the Russian Federation and the Government of Russia to focus on such work. Thank you very much. All the best. I wish you a happy Christmas.