Government plans to significantly limit population’s wage growth in 2014
In 2014 wage growth is projected at 3%
Rapid wage growth in 2012 and 2013 was one of the reasons behind economic imbalances in Belarus. In 2014, the authorities plan to limit wage growth in order to remedy the economic situation. A formal approach to implementing this initiative might result in the outflow of highly skilled specialists from Belarus.
High wage growth against low productivity growth has led to the need to limit wage growth in 2014 to 3% (forecast of socio -economic development in 2014). It is projected that productivity will increase by more than 9 %, which will allow for faster growth in labour productivity over wages. These plans will be fulfilled due to a smaller number of those employed as a result of Belarus’ deteriorating demographic situation.
In 2012, real wages grew by 35.2 % (not taking devaluation into account). , In August 2013, real wages were 17.7 % higher than in August 2012. In January – August 2013 net incomes in the economy dropped by 37.7 % compared with the same period in 2012.
Meanwhile, a forecast for wage growth in the public administration and industry suggests that the gap between the salaries of state employees and employees at industrial enterprises will increase. In the public administration, wage growth is projected at the cost of layoffs and optimization. However, unlike public administration, the social sphere has an acute shortage of staff. In healthcare and education, staff shortages are alarming. Many specialists have relocated to other countries where their work is much better paid.
The authorities have spotted the problem with rapid wage growth and plan to address it. The government should pay better attention to improving the situation in certain economy sectors and limit wage growth by taking into account the sector’s specifics in order to prevent further loss of human resources.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.