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.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.