Russia proved not to be ready to introduce progressive tax scale.
On December 6, the book supermarket “Bukvoed” hosted a student open debate dedicated to introduction of progressive tax scale.
Everyfortnight on Tuesdays students from major St. Petersburg high schools gather in the Park of culture and reading “Bukvoed” to discuss topical and urgent issues of modern society.
This time they chose introduction of progressive tax scale in Russia as the game topic.
The head of government welcomed the audience prior to making a report and asked them not to associate him with the current prime-minister of the Russian Federation. He also reminded them that it is one’s ability to produce convincing and logical arguments that matter, rather than personal attitude. Following the results of drawing, the Government team had to support introduction of progressive tax scale. To substantiate their position, the guys argued that progressive tax scale will reduce aggression and instability in society, as it allows to decrease disparity between the rich and the poor.
The opposite party insisted that people will perceive such tax only as defrauding them out of their money in favor of officials, as it was done in 90s, and people will conceal their incomes and receive envelope wages. The government party answered that now the middle class is interested in being paid officially declared salaries to be able to take out loans, and that we are living in completely different country, and we aim for living standards of Western countries, where progressive tax rates has long been applied to income. To parry this argument, the opposite party reminded them of peculiarities of national mentality, “When it comes to social consciousness, subjects of European countries are at a level higher than our citizens, rich people are aware of social responsibility, which is not the case in our country, where the rich are unwilling to help the poor.”
The game jury included representatives of companies-partners of St. Petersburg debate federation: Aleksandr Tsypkin, Public Relations Director of North-West “Megafon”, Alekdei Dudin, financial director of North-West “Megafon”, Etella Eligulashvili, the lawyer of “S&K Vertikal”, Irina Kruzhilina, editor of “Delovoy Peterburg”, as well as Madi Shakhrur , expert of the St.-Petersburg federation of debates, supervisor of city debate clubs.
Judges' opinions divided. The president of the jury Aleksandr Tsypkin had a casting vote and he awarded victory to the opposition team.