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Putin Won’t Tell Voters How He’ll Pay for Domestic Spending

  • Tax hikes, benefit cuts in the works to pay for spending boost
  • Kremlin to focus on largesse before election, talk costs later
Bloomberg business news
How Putin Became the Symbol of Russian Power
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Vladimir Putin plans to lay out his vision for his fourth presidential term in a major speech next month, offering Russians the biggest increase in domestic spending in years. But what he won’t be talking much about is the package of tax hikes, benefit cuts and other changes that are in the works to help pay for the largesse.

The moves include possible increases to the pension age and the income tax, as well as cuts in tax breaks for staples like food, according to three people familiar with the planning. Among the proposals is the introduction of co-pays for health care, something that’s currently unheard of in Russia’s state-run system, two of the people said.