CHARITY IN RUSSIA: FROM ALMS TO THE “TAX ON THE POOR” AND BACK
Social spending is the first-largest spending of the Russian Federation consolidated budget but it still remains insufficient. Such spending was not planned at all in the state list one hundred years ago, and all social work was carried out as part of charitable activities. The article presents the evolution of charitable activities from alms to current “humanitarian spending” and shows the prospects and tendencies for the further development.
The article covers the history of the origin and concept contents of “state charity”, “public charity”, “social security”, “social protection” and “state social insurance” in Russia. It touches upon the issue of “monetization” of social benefits in Russia in 2004 that have generated a good deal of excitement. In the article, charitable activity is being considered for the first time through the prism of budget expenditures as one of the aspects of public economy.
It describes the history of changes in public policy relative to assistance to the poor in the Russian Empire from the 16th century, in the Soviet period and till the present time. In addition, the author have made assumptions about the future prospects of social spending, which is associated with the implementation of such modern ideas at the international and national level as the concept of human capital development and unconditional basic income.
The sources of security of the most complex system of state and public charity, which was formed in the Russian Empire by the beginning of the 20th century, have been analyzed for the first time. The article examined the idea of the “tax on the poor” appeared at the end of the 19th century due to the activity of K.K. Grot’s committee, which is not only a means to ensure expenditures for state charity, but also a logical stage in the consistent development of charitable activities that was interrupted after the 1917 revolution. In addition, it covers the ratio of the “tax on the poor” and modern insurance contributions and the transformation of the purpose of the “tax on the poor”.