The Russian ministers of economy and energy have stated their opposition to an increase in taxes on hydrocarbons. The statements came Wednesday after Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov presented a plan to raise taxes on all oil and gas development with the intention of using the funds to bolster the struggling Russian economy. An increase, Siluanov argued, would create $600 billion in new revenue as Russian oil and gas production is currently near post-Soviet highs.
Russian Deputy Minister of Economy Nikolay Podguzov countered this argument saying that the increase would stymie production and discourage new investment within Russia. Podguzov also denied that a tax increase would lead to $600 million in new revenue, characterizing it is as a “significant overestimation.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has thus far refused to take a position on the issue, preferring instead to encourage discourse and discussion related to the possible increase.
The Russian economy has continued to struggle amid low oil prices and Western sanctions. A new figure released by Rosstat indicates that unemployment in August 2015 is up 13.5 percent when compared to similar statistics from 2014.
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