Aug 9, 2022
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Unbearable “communal” is a reliable way to destabilize Russia


Photo: Artem Geodakyan/TASS

The total debt of citizens of the Russian Federation for “communal” is rapidly approaching a trillion rubles, and the growth rate is steadily increasing. The next increase in tariffs, which took place on July 1, 2022, makes housing and communal services even more unaffordable for a number of categories of citizens, uncomfortable questions about their constant growth have long been brewing in society. In fact, the people are openly robbed, selling at exorbitant prices what belongs to people by right.

According to Rosstat, according to the results of the first quarter of 2022, the debt of Russians for housing and communal services amounted to 804.5 billion rubles.

“Debts of citizens for housing and communal services for the year increased by a record 7.6%, or 56.6 billion rubles. Debts to resource-supplying organizations increased by 11%, to management companies – by 3%, ”the statistical office said in a statement.

Actually, there is nothing surprising here, with a fall in real disposable incomes, people simply have nothing to pay with. Tariffs are increasing every year, and at the same time, people have less and less money.

“The annual increase in utility tariffs does not take into account the dynamics of the population’s income. Under such conditions, low-income families often do not have the opportunity to pay for housing and communal services,” says the director of the National Housing Congress NGO Tatiana Vepretskaya.

The indicated statistics are still quite positive, since only one “crisis” month, March, fell into it. The April-June period will be much more interesting, when Russia was already covered by sanctions and a sharp decline began in all sectors of the economy. Moreover, his assessments in the whole of the Russian Federation “float” very much, depending on who and how they think.

The same applies to the population. Rosstat somehow calculated that the real disposable cash income of the population in the second quarter of 2022 decreased by 0.8% compared to the same period last year. It’s not even funny, it sounds like an outright mockery. Given the re-started rise in food prices and everything else, it is worth saying that, compared to last year, we have become at least 40-50% poorer. By the way, in the “corrected” statistics there is one interesting figure – they say, the share of wages in the total income of the population (decreased by 1.7%) now stands at 56.5%. 21.2% are some kind of social payments, and 12% are some kind of “other cash receipts”. Somehow it doesn’t look like the truth.

But the main problem is not crafty statistics.

“There is a rather alarming situation in terms of social sentiment. The formed “fork” between negative assessments of the personal situation and relatively positive assessments of the future personal situation and the situation in the country can lead to a sharp increase in social tension in the medium term in the event of unfulfilled expectations of the population, which now, in essence, provides a large credit of trust to the authorities,” — noted in a study by the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting (CMASF).

To put it simply: people are still patient, hoping for the future, but this patience is already running out. The credit of trust that the Russian people gave the Kremlin in the spring turned into only new problems for their families, and soon the authorities will have to answer.

“In fact, public opinion in the country has been replaced by propaganda, in which there are a lot of harsh and loud words, but little meaningful content and strategic meanings. However, the main thing is different: society does not feel like a beneficiary of geopolitical changes, even if they are triumphant, therefore, the strengthening of general indifference and detachment in matters of a holy war against the West will continue, ”explains the political scientist Dmitry Mikhailichenko.

People see that nothing is changing for the better in the country, and the special operation is somehow painfully suspiciously dragging on. Yes, and objective information sometimes comes from the contact line, not from the media, but from those who are there. And it does not please at all, on the contrary, it is very alarming.

But most of all people are worried about the situation with income and expenses, and the rent here shares the first place with spending on food.

“From year to year, against the backdrop of a weak ruble and noticeable inflation, housing and communal services continue to rise in price, and citizens’ incomes do not keep pace with new utility rates. For example, the owners of a small apartment in a large Russian city spend an average of 5,000 to 8,000 rubles a month on utility bills. The amount is rather big, taking into account the median salary in the country of 35 thousand rubles, ”says an economist at BitRiver Andrey Loboda.

That is, it turns out that on average about 15-20% of income is spent on a communal apartment. It’s a little too much, for some reason in the US it’s one and a half to two times less, although the Americans pay, as it were, at market prices, and America buys half of the energy resources.

The main problem is that people are simply not allowed to earn money, all the economic reforms promised in the spring have remained empty words. Officials talked about economic sovereignty and reindustrialization, encouraged the people, and calmed down on this. Meanwhile, the decline in the Russian economy does not stop, on the contrary, it is on the rise. According to the Center for Strategic Initiatives, unemployment will double in 16 regions of the country, and 1.5 times in 53 regions.

And this is not all. Salary cuts, transfer of employees to part-time employment, as well as other “kroilovo” are predicted. As you might guess, the population will have even less money to pay for housing and communal services. And if management companies begin to turn off heating, water, gas and electricity for people for debts, this may result in spontaneous protests that will gain momentum as the financial situation of citizens further deteriorates. And it, as you might guess, will not improve.

There are no conditions for the opposite, business entities are placed in an extremely difficult situation, and it is clearly artificial. Financing of the industry has been completely stopped, there are no measures to support domestic producers, and there are no plans for the comprehensive development of the country either. There is a rapid extinction of still operating enterprises, and no one is going to save them.

According to a number of forecasts, the debt of citizens of the Russian Federation for housing and communal services may reach a trillion rubles as early as late 2022 – early 2023. Unless, of course, something else happens first.

“Now the country is choking on money, there has never been such a colossal influx of export foreign exchange earnings in Russia. $158 billion is a surplus in foreign trade in goods and services. During the year, the jump occurred more than three and a half times. The same thing happens with the current account surplus. Plus, the budget surplus is more than a trillion rubles. It is clear where the money is concentrated – this is gas, coal exports, the agricultural industry, fertilizer, metallurgy. On the other hand, their situation will also worsen by the end of the year, because physical deliveries are declining, ”warns a member of the Stolypin Club presidium, an economist Vladislav Zhukovsky.

Enormous money that is again accumulating in foreign accounts and waiting for the Westerners to arrest them. Nothing is invested in industry, jobs are not created, technologies are not developed. At the same time, people have nothing to pay for heating and light, and they have to save on food. Man-made collapse scenario.

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