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Russian Labor Minister Wants 'Social Parasites' To Pay Taxes

Russian Labor Minister Maksim Topilin

Russia's Labor Minister Maksim Topilin has proposed introducing a tax on unemployed Russians, calling them "social parasites."

Topilin told journalists in Moscow on October 21 that those individuals who claim to be unemployed should be taxed 20,000 rubles ($320) a year.

The minister used the word "tuneyadsty," or social parasites, which in Soviet times was used to define individuals who didn’t have a job and who were punished with prison terms.

Joblessness was decriminalized in the Soviet Union in April 1991.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on October 21 that the Kremlin was not discussing Topilin's proposal.

Based on reporting by Meduza, TASS, and Interfax