Authorities seeking ways to tax ’social parasites’
The decree, which envisages a tax on ’social parasitism’, has been sent for revision and should be finalised by mid-February. This initiative by the Belarusian authorities has resulted in the greater number of people registering at the employment centers, which offer mainly low-paid jobs. In addition, problems at some large state-owned export enterprises have prompted their managers to hold lay-offs or send employees on unpaid leave. Moreover, as recession in Russia builds up, Belarusian workers started returning to Belarus (up to 400,000 people according to some estimates). The authorities’ actions have exerted significant pressure on the labour market, which may lead to increased tension in Belarusian society. As a result, the authorities are likely to reconsider their initiative and to investigate other means to replenish the state budget.
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.