Russia bumps minimum wage, pensions

Soaring oil prices free up some cash for 2005 budget
||Last Updated: 09/07/2004

The Russian government is increasing the minimum wage by 20 per cent to 720 roubles ($32 Cdn) starting in 2005.

The government also announced it is going to increase old-age pensions by 250 roubles ($11 Cdn) per month next year, according to ITAR-TASS.

Russia’s finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, said the government can afford the increase because of soaring oil prices. The government had counted on oil hanging around the $28 US per barrel price range, but it has recently soared into the mid-$40 range.