Minsk demonstrates readiness for moratorium on death penalty if democratisation issues are taken off agenda
Last week, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland expressed deep regret over reports about yet another execution in Belarus. Minsk is attempting to shape a negotiating agenda with European capitals, which includes two major issues, the construction of the Belarusian NPP and a moratorium on the death penalty. After the execution, the Belarusian authorities demonstrated their readiness to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty. Last week, a death penalty discussion was held in the Belarusian Parliament with the participation of parliamentarians and foreign experts. Minsk aspires that western capitals relax their demand with regard to the Belarusian NPP, while Vilnius and Warsaw are opposing the construction. In addition, the Belarusian authorities aim to take democratisation issues off the agenda, as well as criticism over elections.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.