The Ministry of Finance announced the increase in expenditures on education over the defense budget

The total expenditure of the Federal and regional budgets on education in Russia — 3 trillion rubles, and this is the biggest expenditure item, said first Deputy Finance Minister Tatyana Nesterenko at the meeting of the Duma Committee on the budget on Thursday, October 20. Followed by spending on defense and health care, according to an official.

She did not specify what period are these calculations, but the data of the Ministry of Finance show that in 2016 the cost of the entire system budget on defense than education, but in 2017, the education will come forward.

According to Nesterenko, those relatively small sums on education, which are visible in the Federal budget, reflect the government spending on higher education, and the rest of the expenditures of regional budgets. The Deputy Minister called on MPs to take this fact into account when discussing the share of expenditures on one or the other direction.

In the Federal budget (the amendments made by the Finance Ministry this month to the state Duma) under section “national defense” in 2016, it will costs amounting to almost 3.9 trillion (23.7 percent of total expenditures), and under section “Education” — 558 bn (3.4% of all expenditures). In 2017 the government plans to reduce the share of Federal defense spending to 17.6% and increase the share of education funding to 3.5%. But with regard to budgets, spending on education in 2017 will be higher than the defense: about 3.1 trillion roubles (3.6% of GDP), against 2.9 trillion rubles (3.3 percent of GDP), and to 2018-2019 years, the gap in favor of education will increase even more (this follows from the draft budget policy guidelines of the Ministry of Finance).

Medicine and education are financed mainly at the expense of regions, wrote this week, experts from the Higher school of Economics (HSE). In 2015, the regional authorities have financed 81% of the total cost of education and 47% of health care costs, according to the HSE. In regions difficult to maintain priority funding for education and healthcare (they have to do for the implementation of the may decrees of the President about increase of salaries of teachers and doctors). The problem can not be solved, leaving it to the regions, but this can lead to the fact that education and medicine “will move down to the levels of Asian and Latin American countries,” warned economists.