Authorities bolster repressions against opposition ahead of presidential elections
The court has extended the prison tern to Nikolay Dedok, a political prisoner who was to be released in a few days, for a year. Currently, among political prisoners remaining behind bars is former presidential candidate Nikolai Statkevich and anarchists who are the most radical opponents of the government. The authorities fear of social tension growth during the 2015 presidential campaign, which is why they demonstrate their readiness to clampdown any protest activity by the opposition. Amid the ‘thaw’ in Belarusian-European relations, the authorities demonstrate with their actions that they do not intend to fulfil the main requirement for normalisation of relations with the EU, i.e. to release political prisoners.
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.