The Labour code of the Russian Federation has an article under number 133. It clearly says that the minimum wage (SMIC) is set by Federal law throughout the country and can not be below the subsistence level, the amount of which is regularly recalculated. However in the same law there is a contradiction, which is the loophole in article 421 States that the order and timing of the gradual increase of the minimum wage to the size provided by part one of article 133 of this Code, established by Federal law. And a loophole that the state is being used - it turns out that the minimum wage can be set at below subsistence level, and the Ministry of Finance will decide by itself when to align.

From January 2013 the minimum wage will again increase and will make of R. 5205 But the problem is that expenditure on social development almost does not increase, and therefore the budget can not cover the existing difference between the subsistence minimum and the minimum wage. The new minimum wage will be only 76% of the subsistence minimum, which in theory, is a violation of the labor legislation of the Russian Federation. However, the violation is committed for many years.

Over the last 12 years the minimum wage increased 30 times, but still has not reached the amount that could really ensure the normal living of people of low-wage jobs.

Experts note that the figures are disappointing. More than 13% of Russians has a salary below the subsistence level. In Europe there are standards by which the minimum wage shall be not less than 60% of the average wage in the country. If such standards worked in Russia, the minimum wage would be about 16000 R. However, such amounts for States remain sky-high.