The government and intelligence services “lost” part of the Russian GDP

There is in the Russian economy the perennial problem: oil dependency, diversification, improving the quality of human capital, improving the business climate, out of the shadows. All they will long remain relevant, because their decisions by and large have not been found.


What part of the Russian economy is in shadow, is not news. Every Russian, with the back of the economic crisis, knows this from experience: whatever may be said of the representatives of the Pension Fund from the TV screens, the salary envelope is better than no paycheck. Now, officials are not just spotted, but is ready to focus on the envelopes. And that is a plus, not only by the Prosecutor General and other law enforcement agencies.

As said the first Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov, “the biggest challenge facing the Russian economy is a fork in the road: to go or not to go out?” Knight at the crossroads, and the battle of the knight with his head — a traditional Russian painting, and even fun. But now there are specifics.

In the government, forgetting the debate about “growth potential”, it is reasonable to believe that only a massive release of the shadow economy will allow to solve set by the President the task of ensuring economic growth ahead of the global average. It is the whitewashing of the economy — the main goal of trained tax changes: reducing the tax burden on the wage Fund in the form of reduction of social payments, but compensating budget revenues increase in the VAT rate.

There are those who the shadow economy calls the “economy of cowardice”. But the government maneuver is the recognition that fiscal pressure pushes the economy into the shadows. Cowardice is not an economic category. But if to it to resort, the cowardice is refusing to see the obvious real problem, not the desire not to give up. Remember the “shuttles” from the early 90’s, it was not a cowardly people who all lived at the time required the fact that a significant part of the demand for consumer goods covered by them.

The government by its manoeuvre is and expects to maintain not handed over. But the maneuver has two sides. Light — reduction of envelope wages. Dark — the VAT rise will force some companies to withdraw completely into the shadows.

The shadow economy is different. There is frankly criminal, it is directly adjacent to the corruption (the special, often family enterprises, targeted to serve large companies, for example, winning tenders under the public procurement), as is the economy, offering perfectly legitimate products and services, partially or fully while remaining closed, particularly for tax authorities. That’s about it, and talking about.

Not paying taxes is bad. But even worse to create an environment where their pay is completely impossible, especially for small businesses and the unstable phase-out of the recession.

It is reasonable to ask: what is its volume? The answer, or rather answers is discouraged. In the sense that their inconsistency once again proves that the shadow economy is an invisible economy.

Rosstat is intended to know everything. He has ample opportunity to assess the extent of the shadow economy. Chief statistician of the country Alexander Surinov in March 2017, issued this assessment: on average, 10-14% of GDP. This is the lowest score in the sense that international assessments show a very different scope shadow.

Recently a report on the expansion of the shadow economy in the world released by the IMF. According to him, the share of the Russian economy, remaining in the shadows, 33,7%, and the IMF notes that since 2014 the shadow over the Russian GDP has not dissipated. In June 2017 its report on the same topic released by the international Association of chartered certified accountants (ACCA). In this document the statistics covering 28 countries, Russia for the spread of the shadow economy was 39% of GDP in fourth place. The situation is worse only in Ukraine, Nigeria and Azerbaijan.

10-14% or 33-39% — two very different things. Even if Suriname were talking about the “informal economy”, leaving crime and corruption, and the IMF and the ASSA included in the shadow economy and all of its components, the figures are still not fighting. I want to believe that crime and corruption can not cover a quarter of the official GDP of the Russian Federation, otherwise our brave police officers and prosecutors simply do nothing.

What are the implications? First, the scale of the shadow economy is the mirror-adjusting mechanism. While it turns out that this mechanism suppresses excessive fiscal and openly by force of the economy.

Second: growth of official GDP, there are substantial reserves in the shade. Whitewashing the economy in fact can bring significant results. But the proposed tax maneuver, creating a new shade due to the increase in the VAT rate, this task if you decide it has been limited.

It is clear that today it is not fashionable to seek experience overseas. But the US economy have added considerably to the growth of a promise of Donald trump which in the end was supported by the Congress, reduce taxes on corporations. Without any compensation of budget losses, they should compensate the economic growth itself. This example is worthy at least of attention.

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