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4 Dec, 2023 01:49

Russian MP proposes taxing childless people

Evgeny Fyodorov said the measure would help fill the state’s coffers and incentivize population growth
Russian MP proposes taxing childless people

A member of Russia’s State Duma has proposed reviving a tax on childlessness which existed during the Soviet era, citing the need to boost the population.

The original tax on childlessness was adopted during World War II and existed until the break-up of the Soviet Union. The levy applied to men aged 20-50 and married women aged 20-45.

“We must encourage the birth of children,” Evgeny Fyodorov from the ruling United Russia party told Moscow Speaks radio on Saturday. He added that the tax revenue could be used to fund existing and future welfare programs designed to help families with children.

“Should we introduce a tax for this cause? If we won’t have enough money for such projects, we should,” the lawmaker, who sits on the parliamentary budget and taxation committee, said. “It is not punishment, but a solution to the problem.”

Over the years, politicians and church officials have floated the idea of a similar tax. The proposed measure has its opponents, however. Nina Ostanina, chair of the Duma family affairs committee, said on Sunday that such a tax would only work under a socialist system. “We are living in an absolutely different society,” she said.

United Russia lawmaker Svetlana Bessarab told the news website Lenta.ru that a tax on childlessness would amount to “discrimination against people who have no children.” She added that it would “really be a punishment, regardless of what we call it.”