A quarter of Russians spend more than 50% of their incomes on food, Vasily Uzun, Chief Researcher at the Center for Agri-Food Policy at RANEPA Institute for Applied Economic Research told a news conference at TASS on Wednesday, December 5.
“The Russian Government analyzes more than 600 measurements affecting food security, the expert noted during the conference, ‘Food Security in Russia: Monitoring Results for 2018.’ “But the most important indicator is the share of wages that families spend on food. In rich countries, this proportion is low: 6-15% in Europe, 20% in Poland. In Russia, the average spending on food is 33%, which is high. It is the government’s job to reduce it.”
When people start spending more than 50% of their income on food, it means they are on the edge of poverty, he added.
“They can’t meet other needs, because they do not have enough money. In Russia, a quarter of the population lives this way,” Vasily Uzun said.
He added that low-income people are trying to save on food.
“They cannot afford a diet recommended by the Healthcare Ministry, but buy the cheapest food available in the stores. They buy bread and potatoes. Otherwise, they will have to spend 90% of their income on food. Therefore, they are trying to reduce spending,” the expert said.
According to him, families with such incomes should be entitled to government support.
“They are in a critical situation,” Vasily Uzun concluded.