Belarusian president attempts to shuffle off responsibility for economic failures on public officials
Before April 15th, the Belarusian Government should submit the Draft Socio-Economic Development Programme for 2016-2020 and propose the date to hold the 5th All Belarusian People’s Assembly to the president. Previously, the Assembly was held before the presidential campaigns in order to mobilise state apparatus and public officials. However, due to the failure to implement the decisions of the 4th Assembly and the lack of the vision of socio-economic development in the government, the authorities have abandoned the idea of holding the 5th Assembly before the 2015 presidential elections. Meanwhile, the president has to justify the socio-economic policy for the next five years and present a bailout plan to the population before the parliamentary elections. The Assembly participants and the Government are likely to be prompted to assume responsibility for the failure of the previous five-year development plan in order to reduce pressure on president’s rating.
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.