Acting finance minister has no plans to raise taxes

Russia’s finance ministry has no plans to increase taxes in the nearest future, acting finance minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

“A tax increase is not the best proposal,” Siluanov said, adding the measure may be introduced if the government finds no other way to balance the state budget.

“Of course, we can do it in the most extreme case but I think we will not make such proposals in the nearest future.”

Siluanov was appointed acting finance minister on Tuesday following Monday’s resignation of Alexei Kudrin, who had served as finance minister since 2000, during which time Russia paid off most of its substantial foreign debt and created oil wealth funds to soften the blow of the global slump.

Siluanov also said that the ministry would not change its aim of reducing the risks of running a budget deficit.

“The Finance Ministry’s policy will be the same, a policy guaranteeing macroeconomic stability and reduced risks of budget non-fulfilment,” he said adding the policy might be implemented by cutting budget outlay.

“We should not increase spending without corresponding resources to fill the budget.”

He said he saw the main risks of a budget deficit in prices on the international markets.

“We have quite a realistic oil price forecast for the next year, but prices are rather volatile. This is why if price conditions worsen, we will discuss measures to guarantee a balanced budget,” Siluanov said.

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