A member of Russia’s State Duma has proposed to revive a tax on childlessness, which existed during the Soviet times, citing the need to boost population.
“We must encourage the birth of children,” Evgeny Fyodorov from the ruling United Russia party told Govorit Moskva 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 MP who sits on the parliamentary budget and taxation committee said. “It is not a punishment, but a solution to the problem.”
The tax on childlessness was adopted during World War II and existed until the breakup of the Soviet Union. The tax applied to men aged 20-50 and married women aged 20-45.
Over the years, politicians and church officials 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 could only work under a socialist system. “We are living in an absolutely different society,” she said.
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MP Svetlana Bessarab told news website Lenta.ru that a tax on childlessness would amount to “discrimination of people who have no children.” She added that it would “really be a punishment, regardless of what we call it.”
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