Russia needs to improve its social welfare system

11 july 2016

There are two main social welfare models used abroad: universal welfare where social benefits are made available to everyone with no restrictions and targeted welfare where social benefits are made available to people on low income that qualify for it. Russia uses the latter targeted model of social welfare known as ‘targeted social welfare’. In their new social bulletin, the experts analyze the data characterizing the social welfare practices in other countries, studying the goals, implementation methods, types of benefits, outcomes and costs of targeted social welfare.

Every social welfare model has pros and cons, the experts point out. The targeted welfare model is not being given priority in European countries and is showing no signs of growing. The vast majority of budget spending on welfare goes to benefits that are made available without the recipients having to qualify for them, in other words, the majority of social welfare there is universal.

The levels of social welfare available in Europe and the amount of spending on social welfare by central and local budgets are quite significant, especially compared to Russia, the bulletin stresses. It is one of the reasons why targeted welfare is used in our country, the experts are sure. “There is no real justification for the mechanical expansion of the targeted welfare model in Russia because we still have not defined the function and goal of social welfare as a tool of state social policy in either laws or targeted social welfare programs,” the experts write. The experts contend that targeted welfare is inherently very limited in scope and do not see any prospects of development for it.

Having analyzed the situation, the experts have concluded that Russia would be best advised to use approaches that have already been tried in other countries, which will minimize possible errors. It is also necessary to come up with proposals for how to improve the social welfare system in the country, they are sure.

For more see the bulletin Social Welfare in Other Countries.

For other issues of the social bulletins see Publications.