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Press release, 28.04.2000


Yabloko advocates comprehensive financing of education and science and the preservation of privileges for schoolchildren

Yabloko advocates comprehensive financing of education and science and preservation of privileges for schoolchildren.

A number of amendments to the law On Changes to Some Legislative Acts in Connection with the Federal Law On the Federal Budget for 2000", submitted to the State Duma Budget Committee by Alexei Arbatov, Deputy from the Yabloko faction, adhere to these objectives.

On April 21, 2000, this law was approved by the majority of deputies of the State Duma. The Yabloko faction supported the law on condition that Yabloko-s amendments, which protect the well-being of certain social groups, such as researchers, teachers, schoolchildren and students and workers of the Closed Territorial Formations (ZATO) would also be adopted.

"We agree that it is necessary to abandon some privileges, such as privileges for the state bureaucracy, but people who really need support should not suffer", said Alexei Arbatov commenting on the position of the Yabloko faction.

According to the new law, the scarce budget financing of education and science, should be reduced even more.

The law On Education stipulates 3% of total budgetary expenditures for the financing of education and the law On Science envisages 4% of the total budgetary expenditure for financing of science.

The government proposes to exclude these provisions from corresponding laws. Deputies from Yabloko insist on preservation of these provisions in the laws.

The government also proposed replenishing of the state budget by abolishing free meals for schoolchildren and eliminating the 50% transport discount for schoolchildren and students.

Alexei Arbatov characterised these attempts as immoral and proposed retaining these privileges. The new law gives ZATO no possibility to allot part of the revenues from the taxes collected in their territory for internal needs. One of the amendments introduced by Alexei Arbatov aims to preserve this provision.

The Budget Committee of the State Duma must consider the submitted amendments and, if they are approved, include them in the text of the law On Changes to Some Legislative Acts- The Yabloko faction will only support this law at its second reading, if this condition is met.