Authorities increase social spending ahead of 2015 presidential campaign
President Lukashenko has criticized the Health Ministry for adopting a decision concerning the new drug prescription rules and reminded once again that by late 2015, half of all medicines sold in pharmacies should be manufactured in Belarus. In addition, the government will increase spending on healthcare (and education) in 2015 - 16.6% more has been budgeted on healthcare and 16.8% more on education (compared with 2014). Wide response and public dissatisfaction with the quality of healthcare services, as well as socio-political initiatives on the national level (’People’s Referendum’) and in the regions aiming to draw attention to the state’s social policy reform, have prompted the authorities to revise their approach and increase funding in some spheres. However, after the presidential campaign the government might continue reducing social guarantees to the population, with the most significant changes coming in the first years after the election.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.