The All-Russia People's Front (ONF), a political movement backed by President Vladimir Putin, announced plans Monday to demand that the government set standards for the perks given to retired or dismissed governors of Russian regions.
“We think that spending millions of rubles from the budget to ensure ex-governors and their families lead a comfortable lifestyle is not just irrational, it's civilly unbecoming,” Anton Getta, head of the ONF's “For Fair Procurements” project, said in an online statement Monday.
Currently, according to the statement, the number and types of perks former governors receive are determined by regional legislation and vary from region to region. ONF's research describes the retirement package provided by several Russian regions: the Moscow, Leningrad, Rostov, Penza, Chelyabinsk, Astrakhan and Tyumen regions, and the republic of Tatarstan.
In the Rostov region, ex-governors receive 80 percent of their salary for the rest of their lives after resigning, retain their security detail and are allowed to use VIP lounges for government officials at airports, railway stations and ports, the statement said.
Ex-governors of the Rostov region also receive the same medical services to which the acting governor is entitled. Their families also enjoy these privileges.
For the last five years local authorities have also been paying for the ex-governor's car, the statement said. “The Rostov regional government spent 6.4 million rubles [$98,500] on transport services for the ex-governor,” having paid for the official to have a fast car, the statement said.
The region's ex-governor Vladimir Chub told the RBC news agency he doesn't receive 80 percent of his former salary because he is now a senator and is therefore on the payroll of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia's parliament. He said he used the car mentioned by the ONF whenever he was in the Rostov region.
Chub expressed reluctance toward the ONF's initiative to standardize compensation packages for former governors.
In Moscow, according to the ONF, ex-governors are entitled to a security detail for the rest of their lives, along with transport and legal services, and are given the use of a state-owned dacha.
“I have the right to use a state-owned dacha, but I don't. I also have a bodyguard, but he is more of an assistant,” Moscow's former longtime mayor Yury Luzhkov told RBC.
He said these expenses were “not unbearable” for the budget and said that governors who were good at their job during their time in office were entitled to those perks.