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14 Jan, 2019 14:26

More than half of Russians want government to resign over growing prices – poll

More than half of Russians want government to resign over growing prices – poll

Over 50 percent of Russians are disappointed in the government of Dmitry Medvedev, which, they believe, is unable to curb growing prices and provide jobs for people, a new poll has revealed.

Some 23 percent said they were absolutely sure that the government must resign, with another 30 percent telling Levada-Center that they were also leaning toward this opinion. 

This means that a total of 53 percent would like the country to have a new cabinet. Trust in the government has crumbled since September, when only 23 percent advocated its resignation. 

Meanwhile, the proportion of people who believed the government should stay in charge was 40 percent, with 14 percent expressing full confidence in the cabinet, and 26 percent saying that resignation wouldn’t be the best idea.

The 1,600 people who took part in the research were given a chance to provide multiple answers regarding perceived shortcomings in the performance of ministers.

A total of 57 percent were unhappy about growing prices and decreasing household incomes, while 46 percent accused the cabinet of failing to create jobs.

The government was criticized for not caring about social protection (43 percent), its inability to deal with the economic crisis (36 percent), acting solely in its own interests (32 percent), lacking a program for economic development (28 percent), and only caring about corporations (28 percent).

The results of the poll “don’t indicate a political crisis, but speak about the need for the government to change its priorities,” Dmitry Zhuravlev, head of the Institute of Regional Problems, told RIA Novosti.

The cabinet got “carried away solving macroeconomic tasks, filling the budget, in the hope that it’ll automatically lead to an increase of living standards,” he said. “This is going to work in the future, but people have to live now and it’s only fair that they want to see improvements in the present day.”

Zhuravlev pointed out that the public support of 40 percent was a number that “many governments could only dream of,” but urged the Russian cabinet to pay more attention to the lives of ordinary people and better explain its decisions to citizens.

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The poll was held in mid-December, shortly after Russian state statistics agency, Rosstat, announced that consumer prices had increased 3.5 percent in 2018, exceeding the government’s forecast. The experts warned that costs will continue to rise in 2019 due to growing fuel prices and the decision to increase the goods and services tax by two percent.

Complaints regarding a perceived lack of jobs appear to be misdirected. The Economy Ministry announced in November that the unemployment rate in Russia had reached a historic low of just 4.7 percent.

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