Poll shows Russian government should increase social spending

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MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Most Russians believe the government should increase social program funding for public health, education, housing, utilities and sports, a leading national polling center reported Wednesday.

A survey conducted by VTsIOM September 10 and 11 showed that 40% of those polled would like the government to spend more on healthcare and sports, while one in every three respondents (33-34%) believe the priority should be given to housing, utilities and education.

Twenty-nine percent are in favor of an increase in defense spending; 27% advocate higher expenditures on economic programs; 23%, on national security and law enforcement; and 21%, on the environment.

Eighteen percent stress the need to increase government allocations for economic support of the provinces and 12% want additional funding for the arts and the media.

A sample of 1,587 adults from 153 urban and rural communities across Russia were polled, with a statistical error of 3.4%.

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