International: Price Cuts

As another plum to Russia's citizens, the Kremlin announced a general price reduction on 125 items of consumer goods. The cuts range from 5% on wines and woolens to 50% on fruits and vegetables; theoretically, they will lower the sky-high Soviet cost of living by 8%. But previous price cuts have been largely offset by increases in taxes and by taxpayers' "loans" to the government. The latest markdowns leave the average Russian worker laboring more than a week for a cheap pair of shoes, 18 weeks for a top-quality suit—when he can find them in the stores.


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