“Today’s address by Russian President Vladimir Putin was perhaps the most important of all. We have lived through a year that changed us, changed the world, and changed the country. Putin provided exhaustive answers as to the main expectations about the measures we need to take to get out of the situation in which the pandemic has put us. The social component of the address is not just traditionally dominant. The main themes of the address are based on the lessons of the past year, involve specific actions,and concern some of the most sensitive areas – human health and social protection,” said Deputy Chair of the Federation Council and Chair of the Council of the Eurasian Women’s Forum Galina Karelova.
The senator drew attention to the consistency of the priorities that the President focused on in his address.
“Arguing that the top national priority remains taking care of the population and enhancing its prosperity, the President outlined a set of new measures that spell out the sequence of actions needed to achieve this goal,” she said.
Galina Karelova believes these measures will become the foundation for a new holistic assistance programme to families, above all to families with children.
Citing innovations that should take effect starting from 1 July, Galina Karelova noted that half the voucher cost for children’s summer camps will be refunded; assistance will be provided to single-parent families in the form of new payments of RUB 5,560 for children aged 7 to 16; and support will be offered to pregnant women who are in a difficult financial situation. Women who register in the early stages of pregnancy will receive payments of RUB 6,350. Another financial support measure will be a one-off payment of RUB 10,000 for all families with school-age children or families with children who will go to school this year. In addition, sick leave pay will be increased for mothers to care for children up to seven years old.
“This is a brand-new innovation,” the senator said. “Such mothers generally have a small amount of sick leave pay since they don’t have much work experience. This dependency will be abolished for them. Now a woman will receive sick leave pay based on 100% of her earnings.”
“The new measures are a response to new challenges. It’s particularly important that most of them are not of a one-time nature. They will certainly help millions of families cope with the effects of the pandemic faster. But the main thing is that the President’s proposals essentially lay the foundation for the future of a new system of social protection for families, which will accompany them throughout the entire period when a child grows up – from birth to adulthood, all the way to the age of 16,” she said.
Galina Karelova said that measures to support families with children should start taking effect in less than two months. She said this will require legislators of all levels to be highly efficient when making new legislative decisions.