Belarusian authorities introduce expert group to compensate for president's self-elimination from domestic policy
The Presidential Administration has introduced an expert group for legal issues. Apparently, the Belarusian leadership has acknowledged the lowered quality of legislation, which led to higher tension in society and poor decisions by the authorities. The fact that such a group has been created under the auspices of the Presidential Administration indicates that the authorities have taken the problem seriously. That said, most unpopular decisions were made by the Presidential Administration, eg the decree on social dependants and the decree on raising the retirement age. Following public pressure and protests, the authorities were forced to revise some of their decisions. For instance, they have suspended the decree on social dependants, reintroduced pension benefits for some social groups and acknowledged that the decree on assistance to families with many children and young families was rescinded prematurely. The authorities are likely to continue to cut social protection and search for new funding sources, however, they would like to minimise risks of mass discontent, especially among loyal population.
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.