The states refusal of unconditional responsibility for social services will lead to a deepening social crisis in Russia. The concept of "social rights" will disappear. Experts of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements (IGSO) came to this conclusion after examining the government's bill "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in connection with the improvement of the legal status of government (municipal) institutions." The first public reaction to the new law is likely to be passive. But its use will result in the growth of discontent and play an important role in the development of the political crisis in Russia, which will determine the continuing economic downturn.
The new bill deals with a number of federal laws regulating the state's relationship to the public sector. "The essence of the proposed changes is the refusal of the State from direct responsibility for the institution that has received public status and operates in the field of education, culture, health and social protection. The state will not fund public institutions, and it will be the task of those institutions to achieve ‘financial security’", - said Boris Kagarlitsky, director of IGSO. Public institutions will have considerable autonomy, including the implementation of "income-generating activities" not related to their core purpose. It will become possible for social institutions to know bankruptcy. The law does not spell out what will be formulated as government tasks, how they will be monitored and what are their criteria.
After the law comes into force, the social sphere, even de jure ceases to be an absolutely national priority. "The financing of certain tasks will narrow the material base of social institutions and limit their work into target frames. But today the social sphere is the sphere of low wages and lack of funds for immediate needs "- said Anna Ochkin, director of the Center for Social Analysis IGSO. Schools, universities and hospitals are chronically in need of additional funds for the implementation of ongoing activities (repairs, purchase of equipment, etc.). These are supplied by services charges and “charitable contributions” that are due to the population. "With the economic crisis the practice of “financing projects" will lead to the collapse of the social sphere. The state seeks to cut budget expenditures, but will sharpen social contradictions "- believes Vasily Koltashov, director of the IGSO Center for Economic Research. Non-core activities will not save social institutions from the want of money. The corrupt burden on the population will increase.
The Law introduces a new concept of a “state-owned institution". Under this category will fall: government, military units, prison remand system and correctional institutions executing punishment, mental hospitals and leper colony, specialized institutions for minors in need of social rehabilitation, federal agencies: the Federal Security Service, FCS, FCA, etc. State-owned institutions will remain under strict control and financing of the state. But the majority of social institutions can not qualify for full financial support, and citizens will find that in Russia the "social right" to education, health and culture has finally disappeared. Meanwhile, the public interest requires a completely different approach to the social sphere. It should be aimed at the realization of the common, basic needs. But the enforcement of the new law will lead to a reduction in social programs, as well as differentiation in service quality across regions and income groups. Real education, culture and medicine will belong to a privileged few.
IGSO is an independent intellectual center. Its activities are aimed at developing expert evaluations, research, and the support of initiatives aimed at democratic and radical socio-economic transformation of society. IGSO’s predecessor was the Institute for Problems of Globalization (IPROG), headed by Boris Kagarlitsky. In 2006, a large portion of the team IPROG created a new institution - IGSO.