the Commissioner under the RF President on the rights of the child Anna Kuznetsova reported with regret: Ministry of labour opposed to paying 10 million children in the age from 16 to 18 years. According to her, instead of social services office offered to arrange for older children to work. But this argument does not hold water, experts say.

in fact, Ms. Kuznetsova would be more correct to refer not to the government and to President Putin in which it and the Commissioner. After all, emergency “anticorrosiveness” benefits in the amount of 10 thousand rubles for children aged 3 to 16 years was introduced by the decree of the head of state – first of June 2020. And 23 June 2020 Vladimir Putin has ordered to extend the specified payment for another month – and again only parents of children under the age of 16. The document States: these funds are not included in the composition of family income, even if it pretends to any other measures of social support (many of the benefits and payments are put only to those whose family income is below a certain level).

But in may, it was announced about this almost the most significant and massive as support some of the Russians, the parents of children aged 16 to 18 years felt themselves wronged. To Ms. Kuznetsova, she said, there were thousands of applications, and because of that she decided to apply to the government. On the official website of the Commissioner for the rights of the child information about the letter for her signature went to the White house, dated may 19. “This age group does not have full opportunities for employment, staying with parents. A large proportion of children in the age from 16 to 18 years continued his training in educational organizations. Also, we should consider the interests of children with disabilities above categories which require special conditions, the attention and the support of parents”, – the document says. And again: “the size of the consumer basket of a teenager is virtually the consumption basket of the working-age adult, while lost in the nationals can apply for support in the payment of unemployment benefits at a higher rate, not working children in the age from 16 till 18 years – can’t.”

once the parents of children from 16 to 18, the President once again left with nothing, letters to Responsible went with renewed vigor. Then came a response from the government. According to Ms. Kuznetsova, the main argument of the Ministry of labor to prepare himself – “children over the age of 16 need to employ”.

the head of the Duma Committee for labor and social policy Yaroslav Nilov (LDPR) considers this argument “strange”: “labour law work in Russia can not with 16, and 14 years. And let’s see how many childrenth from 16 to 18 years work, and how much I continue to learn, or not learn and do not work, waiting for conscription or in search of work”,- he told “MK”. Therefore, the Deputy considers, “it would be logical to extend the age of eligibility for payout under 18, and wrong, when a separate group of those who really works, all the others lose the right to help.” In addition, Mr. Nilov notes that “benefits for children under the age of 16 years are paid regardless of need criterion, that is, everyone – children from wealthy families, and children from families below the poverty line, and here the problem somehow, no one sees.”

Open the Labour code. In article 63 of age, which in Russia may operate on the basis of an employment contract, that is legally, does say that usually the age of 16 years. But then lists exceptions. Working since the age of 15 can, for example, those who left school without completing it, or were expelled. “With the written consent of one of parents” and of the guardianship, you can hire a child for 14 years – but only “to perform light work not harmful to his health” and that he worked in his spare time. And in cinemas, theatres, circuses, the law generally allows to conclude employment contracts (again with parental consent and the permission of bodies of guardianship) and children under 14 years! The employment contract in this case is signed by the parent.

So the argument that “from the age of 16, children can work, and up to 16 years no”, not really convincing. In any case, the problem is easily solved, says economist, Professor at the Higher school of Economics Yevgeny Gontmakher: “you just need to introduce an additional column in the statement, which fill the parent, which specifies the status of the child, the schoolboy, the student or already working. If the person is 17 or 18 years, legally employed, for it pay the premiums, it is in the database of the Pension Fund, and technical difficulties with verification I see. Of course, you can say that he earns somewhere, and do not pay taxes. But if you talk about illegal employment – at any age this could be,” explained g-n Gontmaher. He believes that the government is against the expansion of the number of recipients of benefits, “for one simple reason: money for nothing”. But for the money we are actually responsible not to the Ministry of labor, which now fell the wrath of the people, and the Ministry of Finance.

But the monetary argument, according to the economist, is not very convincing: “children from 16 to 18 years – a small group of citizens in comparison with children up to 16 years, with hundreds of billions already spent and more will be spent – this is optional, I think, tens of billions of rubles, because not all will show up. The money is small. In addition, the reserves we have, and the Finance Ministry have a stash – last year, trillion rubleslei budget was not spent, and they passed on this year.”

According to Rosstat, the country’s population of about 3 million people aged 16 to 18 years, and children aged 3 to 16 years – about 27 million Allowances for children up to 16 years cost the Federal Treasury approximately 270 billion rubles a month.

In any case, to help parents of older children – that would be right, considers g-n Gontmaher: “among those who have children from 16 to 18, many who are now experiencing difficulties. 10 thousand, now already 20 thousand – the money is very good, especially somewhere in Ryazan or Kurgan. And so the child is 16 years old, it continues to be a dependent and the parents get nothing”.

meanwhile, in some regions of Russia local authorities themselves began to introduce anti-crisis benefits for children 16-18 years old in their territory. But the size of these benefits, is typically much lower than those paid by the Federal budget, and arrange them by submitting an application in electronic form, will not work. 10 thousand rubles for teenagers local authorities are willing to pay in the Crimea. In the Tver region, for example, promise only 3 thousand (5 thousand, if the family is large), and in Kursk – 3 thousand.