Social Protection Fund may require additional budgetary funds to avoid deficit by late 2016
In H1 2016, the Social Protection Fund’s deficit totalled BYR 780 billion due to insufficient payments to the Fund. Payments to the Fund reduced due to mass lay-offs – in H1 2016 more than 80 500 people were fired. Such negative trends on the labour market are likely to persist, which may lead to the Fund’s budget deficit by late 2016. Indexation of pensions will be insignificant, the Fund may face austerity measures and the list of documents required for obtaining different social benefits may be extended in order to reduce recipients of the state aid. The Fund’s budget deficit may exceed BYR 1 trillion by the year-end and is likely to be recovered from the Fund’s own savings or from the state budget.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.