Wages in public sector would grow due to resource saving and layoffs
According to the Council of Ministers Regulation No 100 of February 7th, 2017, wages in the public sector will grow be due to resources saved thanks to reorganisation and savings of funds allocated from the state budget for other purposes. According to the Draft National Budget for 2017, wages in the public sector should increase by 9%. New jobs in medicine and education are likely to reduce, budget organisations are likely to place fewer public procurement orders, non-payments for work performed and services rendered are likely to increase in number, and budget organisations are likely to delay deadlines. The state budget would only allocate additional funds to raise pay in the public sector if external economic situation improved significantly and the situation with energy supplies to Belarus normalised.
The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.
In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.
The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.
There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.
That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.