Belarusian opposition does not expect mass street activity on Freedom Day
On March 25th, the Freedom Day, the opposition wants to march along the Independence Avenue. It should be noted, that every year the number of participants in traditional opposition rallies, such as the Freedom Day and Chernobyl Path has been decreasing or consistently low. This is largely due to the fact, that opposition slogans about Belarus’ independence and sovereignty have been ‘stolen’ by the Belarusian authorities, who have more powerful outreach and propaganda instruments. The opposition has not yet found ways to mobilize citizens for street protests, despite enhanced tension in society due to falling living standards. The Freedom Day march is unlikely to attract huge crowds, but will become the first mass street action in 2016.
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.