Social policy of modern Kazakhstan: problems and prospects

The current state of social policy in Kazakhstan was studied. The purpose, objectives and definitions of social policy in the broad and narrow sense of the word are shown, the structure of social policy is reflected. The basic principles of social policy are substantiated. The instruments of state social policy are considered. The assessment of directions and functions of social policy, the main purpose of social policy, conditions of transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the social state, the role of the State budget is given. National Fund, in the social sphere of the state. It is noted that in the next decade in the activities of the state priority are five key areas, the Republic of Kazakhstan is at the second stage of transition to a socially oriented market economy. The implementation of tasks on the basis of the Address of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan «growth of well-being of Kazakhstanis: increase of income and quality of life» is analyzed. The key indicators of social sphere provision, criteria of targeted social assistance: social measures of the First President under the program «Aleumettik kamkorlyk» are presented. The renewal of social policy will contribute to improving the quality of life of the population; social policy is an interdependent process: the state creates conditions for social wellbeing. It is proved that Kazakhstan needs an updated social policy, in this regard, the Government should establish clear and transparent procedures for providing support to those who really need, organize control over the distribution, and the planned introduction of social cards of citizens can help this. All this should be facilitated by common approaches to the guaranteed volume of social support for citizens regardless of the region of residence. It is indicated that the head of state instructed the Government to develop common approaches, strengthen measures to strengthen social support of citizens and the availability of housing for socially vulnerable segments of the population. It is concluded that the social policy of the state can be effective only if it is aimed at creating jobs and involving the working-age population in the country's economy. It is necessary to solve the main tasks: — to create an effective model of social and labor relations; — to develop the social initiative of citizens; — to create an effective state system of management of social processes in Kazakhstan.

Social policy refers to government policy in the field of social security, as well as the study of its development, application and influence. Social policy is one of the most important directions of the state's internal policy. It is called upon to ensure expanded reproduction of the population, harmonization of political relations, political stability, and civil harmony. The goal of social policy is to increase the welfare of the population, ensuring a high level and quality of life, characterized by the following indicators: income as a material source of livelihood, employment, health, housing, education, culture, ecology. The immediate goal of social policy: - to provide a deprived life and society to individuals and groups of the population a decent human existence. It is specific in the form of assistance and support to people in need, is: - providing socially recognized basic needs for food, clothing, housing, utilities, medical and cultural services; - assistance to those wishing to find work; - promoting social justice in the distribution of income and property. Figure 1 shows the social policy of the state.

Figure 1. State social policy

State social policy provides for the solution of the following tasks:

  • Ensuring equal opportunities in the exercise of the right to education and a share in public welfare through the fair distribution of income and property (capital);
  • Reduction of undesirable market-driven differences between rich and poor when income and capital occur;
  • Ensuring greater freedom, justice, respect for human dignity, ensuring the development of the individual, active participation in public life and the right to a share of responsibility to society;
  • Further improvement of socio-political tools and provisions governing the existing structure in order to ensure basic social rights and expand the social security network.

When we speak about the social policy of the state, it primarily means government actions aimed at the distribution and redistribution of income of various members and groups of society. So you can define social policy in the narrow sense of the word. In the broad sense of the word, social policy is one of the areas of macroeconomic regulation, designed to ensure social stability of the society and create, as far as possible, the same «starting conditions» for citizens of the country. Figure 2 shows the structure of social policy.

The main principles of social policy are:

  • protection of living standards by introducing various forms of compensation with increasing prices and indexing;
  • providing assistance to the poorest families;
  • Issuance of unemployment assistance;
  • ensuring a social insurance policy, setting a minimum wage for employees;
  • the development of education, the protection of environmental health, mainly by the State's
  • pursuing an active policy aimed at providing qualifications.

The area of government policy that is considered social includes education, health, housing, social insurance, including retirement benefits and individual social services. Considering social policy in a practical sense, it is usually understood as a combination of specific measures and measures aimed at providing for the livelihoods of the population. Figure 3 shows the directions and functions of social policy.

Figure 3. Directions and functions of social policy

Instruments of state social policy are divided into three groups:

  • administrative, creating framework conditions for the social order in the country;
  • financial, consisting in the redistribution of funds in favor of socially weak persons and population groups;
  • The restriction of freedom of business contracts is the essence of this instrument — in the state's interference in contracts between employers and employees for the purpose of protecting the interests of the latter.

It is customary to distinguish between types of social policies: state, regional, corporate and others, depending on who the main initiator (subject) of these measures is.

The main purpose of social policy is perhaps the best satisfaction of the material, cultural and spiritual needs of citizens of society [1].

The use of shock methods of market transformations revealed the most acute problems not only in the economy, but also in the social sphere, the living conditions of the entire population. This caused the objective need for a greater social orientation of reforms, the definition of social priorities and clarification of the very concept of its social orientation. Social orientation involves the selection of public priorities, targeted stimulation of certain areas and directions of activity [2].

In the next decade, five key areas are priority in the activities of the state:

  1. Preparing for post-crisis development.
  2. Ensuring sustainable development.
  3. Provision for the future — improving the competitiveness of human capital in order to achieve sustainable economic growth, prosperity and social well-being of Kazakhstanis.
  4. Providing the population with high-quality social and housing services.
  5. Strengthening interethnic harmony, security, stability of international agreements.

Currently, the Republic of Kazakhstan is at the second stage of transition to a socially oriented market economy, which is characterized by the construction of a welfare model of the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, focused on modern characteristics.

In the message of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev to the people of Kazakhstan in 2018, «Growth in the welfare of Kazakhstanis: improving incomes and quality of life,» it is noted that the key to success of the state is the development of the main wealth — a person.

The government, each head of a state body, state-owned company needs to change approaches in work. The main priority should be the growth of well-being of Kazakhstanis.

The state budget of Kazakhstan has been socially oriented for many years — the expenditures under the article «social assistance and social security» are traditionally the largest and together with expenditures on education and health make up about half of all costs.

A significantly high level of social spending is supported by the largest transfers from the national fund, which in recent years have been from 2.5 to 4.4 trillion tenge per year, i.e. and the national fund was widely involved in the implementation of the social function of the state.

The well-being of Kazakhstanis depends primarily on the stable growth of income and quality of life.

Incomes grow when a person is hardworking, is a professional in his field, receives a decent salary, or has the opportunity to open and develop his own business.

In this regard, from January 1, 2019, the Government was instructed to increase the minimum wage by 1.5 times from 28 to 42 thousand tenge.

This will directly affect the 1 million 300 thousand people who work in all sectors of enterprises of various forms of ownership.

The increase will cover 275 thousand employees of budgetary organizations, whose salaries will grow by an average of 35 %.

For these purposes, from the republican budget for 2019–2021, allocate 96 billion tenge annually.

In this case, the minimum wage will not be tied to the cost of living.

The new minimum wage will be a catalyst for the growth of wages in general throughout the economy.

The effective implementation of these measures will increase the incomes of Kazakhstanis through increased salaries and the creation of new jobs.

The second component of well-being is an increase in living standards.

The issues of quality and accessibility of education, health care, housing, comfortable and safe living concern every Kazakh family.

In this regard, the Government should review budget spending priorities with a focus on the social sector, security and infrastructure.

Within 5 years, it is necessary to bring spending on education, science and healthcare from all sources to 10 % of GDP [3].

Social policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan has always been at the forefront and is a priority for all major program documents, such as the Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy and the Strategic Development Plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025.

In Kazakhstan, the social functions of regional and especially local authorities are wider than in many countries of the world, and the financial resources for their implementation are minimal and a way out of this deadlock should be made by the state's social obligations, which can be defined as a constitutional or legislatively fixed set of social benefits (services, benefits, subsidies), which the state and only it undertakes to make available to its citizens, guaranteeing them a certain range of these benefits free of the latter (i.e. account of budgetary resources).

In 2019, more than 45 % of all republican budget expenditures were directed to the social sphere. At the same time, the mechanism and volumes of social support are changing, for example, the criterion for the provision of targeted social assistance: the income per family member, who should not have previously exceeded 50 % of the subsistence level (14,849 tenge), is now increased to 70 % (20,789 tenge), which significantly expanded the circle of recipients of targeted social assistance.

The First President's new social measures under the Social Care program became a huge help to low- income citizens: the number of recipients of targeted social assistance increased almost 2 times, the amount of assistance increased on average to 80–100 thousand tenge.

It is planned to issue 30 thousand grants up to 505 thousand tenge to youth, able-bodied invalids, low- income and large families so that they can realize their business ideas within 3 years. Beginning entrepreneurs within the framework of the Business Roadmap 2020 will be able to receive 600 grants worth 1.8 billion tenge.

The First President noted that we need to seriously update social policy, and this is an objective necessity, due to many factors, both external and internal. The main external factor is the intensification of international competition. Internal factors are associated with inefficient implementation of government programs, inefficient spending of budget funds, the shadow economy, and corruption. Updating social policy is a natural and ongoing process associated with a change in the structure of the population by income, by the number of family members, by an increase in the number of people applying for targeted social assistance.

The renewal of social policy will contribute to improving the quality of life of the population, that is, increasing incomes, the quality of education and improving health.

Social policy is an interdependent process: the state creates the conditions for social well-being, and the population seeks to improve health, improve education and skills to increase their income [4].

In the Address to the people of Kazakhstan: «Constructive public dialogue is the basis of stability and prosperity of Kazakhstan», the main task of the President of the country, Kasym-Zhomart Tokaev, announced the improvement of the welfare of the population.

In 2019, specific measures have already been taken to increase the incomes of the population, including socially vulnerable citizens.

However, a number of problems continue to persist. This is the current situation around targeted social assistance; insufficiently effective implementation has led to an increase in dependency among some of the population.

In this regard, the Government should establish clear and transparent procedures for providing support only to those who really need them, organize distribution control, severe penalties for any manifestations of fraud and corruption by introducing social cards of citizens.

The Head of State noted that it is necessary to strengthen coordination in the social sphere and instructions were given to the Government to develop unified approaches for the guaranteed volume of social support for citizens, regardless of the region of residence. Table shows the measures to strengthen social support and housing affordability provided for by the new Message of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Strengthening social support for the unemployed and self-employed, housing affordability

Expansion of short-term vocational training in the framework of the «Start Business» and «Young entrepreneur» programs

300 thousand people will be employed

Microcredit expenses increased by 85 billion tenge

Reaching 19 thousand people

Grant amount up to 18 billion tenge for new business ideas

Reaching 37 thousand people

From September 1 of this year, scholarships will be increased by 30 % in TiPo

Over 122 thousand students

Introduction of additional educational grants in universities

Education for 5 thousand children from low-income families

3 times increase in rental housing

3 thousand apartments a year for working youth

2-fold increase in housing construction by 2020 with the involvement of private investment

20 thousandapartmentsperyear

Improving the effectiveness of the social support system

In 2019, an increase in social spending to 7.1 trillion tenge

52 % of the state budget expenditure is social

It is necessary to constantly deal with the solution of acute social problems, providing assistance to the most needy, in this regard, the Government was instructed to prepare measures to achieve tangible results in this area. «We need to seriously update social policy», the President noted, in addition, it is necessary to create new jobs with decent pay, he pointed out that the fair distribution of national income is a matter of strategic importance. State budget funds must be allocated with a view to the future and the opening of jobs; special understanding will be given to obtaining affordable housing for citizens of different categories. «The task is to develop a unified housing policy».

The policy of developing human capital will continue. This is support for universal status and the provision of quality medical services. «We will adopt new laws that enhance the status of teachers and doctors, protecting their rights, and create conditions for them to improve their material condition».

The President indicated that it is necessary to reset the social policy of the state, the national economy should work to realistically increase the welfare of all our citizens.

The social policy of the state can be effective only if it is aimed at creating jobs and involving the ablebodied population in the country's economy. We followed this principle earlier and intend to adhere to it in the future.

Today, the purpose and meaning of social modernization is to prepare society for life in the conditions of a new industrial and innovative economy, to find the optimal balance between the accelerated economic development of Kazakhstan and the widespread provision of public goods, to establish social relations based on the principles of law and justice.

The main tasks should be solved:

  • adopt fair laws and clear legal norms;
  • create an effective model of social and labor relations;
  • develop the social initiative of citizens;
  • expand the capabilities of Internet technologies;
  • develop a creative class;
  • introduce a new motivation for labor activity, develop partnership interaction of all subjects of labor relations with the state. To create in Kazakhstan an effective state system for managing social processes ∣5].

The Figure 4 shows an example of social modernization in the field of education.

The social sphere of the Republic of Kazakhstan will develop in the future, so the expenses of the social sphere for 2020 are planned in the amount of 5691.5 billion tenge with an increase of 303.3 billion tenge or 44.7 % of the total expenditure (2021 — 6084.6 billion tenge, 2022 — 6461.3 billion tenge) A significant share of social sector spending is made up of social payments, for which 10.7 trillion tenge is provided for in a three-year period, of which 3.3 trillion tenge are expected in 2020.

Budget expenditures will be directed to the payment of pensions ahead of inflation by 20 % and benefits from indexations of a proportional level of information. Expenditures on the health care system for 2020– 2022 will amount to 4.7 trillion tenge, of which in 2020 — 1.5 trillion tenge, of which in 2020 — 1.5 trillion tenge, or with an increase of 319.7 billion tenge to current year level.

All this will create conditions for social well-being, increase the welfare of the population, and ensure a high level and quality of life for citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

To build a society of social well-being, the fundamental technological platform in the country should be the joint responsibility of citizens and the state for the quality of life of vulnerable groups and the level of social protection of the population.

For this purpose, it is necessary to coordinate the actions of all government agencies involved in social policy, determining the creation of new jobs and increasing employment, including in rural areas, as a priority for their functioning, to ensure the employment of parents with many children, and to organize their retraining to obtain a specialty that is in demand on the market.

It should be noted that the transition to an integrated model of the provision of social services involves not only the organization of benefits and benefits, but also the opening of centers for supporting the family, the development of targeted social assistance.

The main preventive measures of a state scale are identified, including providing people with work, turning villages into points of sustainable development of the region.

It is noted that targeted social assistance should be provided only to those especially in need, which must be taken into account by modern methods of social work.

The government needs to adjust the mechanism for allocating targeted social assistance so that it becomes transparent, fair, motivates to work, and not to an idle lifestyle.



  1. Ukaz Prezidenta Respubliki Kazakhstan ot 1 fevralia 2010 hoda № 922 «O Stratehicheskom plane razvitiia Respubliki Kazakhstan do 2020 oda» [On the Strategic Plan for the Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2020]. [Электронный ресурс]. — Режим доступа: http:/www minplan. [in Russian].
  2. Volgina, N.A., & Kushlina, V.I. (Eds.). (2010). Ekonomicheskaia i sotsialnaia politika [Economic and social policy]. Moscow: Izdatelstvo RAHS [in Russian].
  3. K obnovleniiu sotsialnoi politiki [Towards updating social policy]. Kazakhstanskaia pravda — The Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper, No. 131 (29008) dated June 11, 2019] [in Russian].
  4. Industrialnaia Karahanda [Industrial Karaganda]. (No. 111 (22370) of October 6, 2018, p. 1) [in Russian].
  5. Poslanie Prezidenta RK Tokaeva Kasym-Zhomarta. «Konstruktivnyi obshchestvennyi dialoh — osnova stabilnosti i protsvetaniia Kazakhstana» ot 2 sentiabria 2019 hoda [Message of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Tokaev Kassym- Zhomart. «Constructive public dialogue is the basis of stability and prosperity of Kazakhstan» September 2, 2019]. Retrieved from [in Russian].
Year: 2019
City: Karaganda
Category: Economy