State Awards Policy as Stability Factor for Authorities
On February 1st, President Lukashenko conferred state awards to representatives of industry, construction, civil servants, law enforcement, military, athletes, cultural and art workers.
Regular state awards ceremony is an additional tool to ensure loyalty to the country’s supreme leadership. The Belarusian state awards policy clearly demonstrates President Lukashenko’s priorities: the focus is on the law enforcement agencies’ officials.
The award ceremony held by Alexander Lukashenko on February 1st, was the third in 2013. These awards’ characteristic feature is President’s increased attention to the Law Enforcement agencies: of 246 awarded in 2013, 215 persons (87%) represented various Belarus’ law enforcement agencies.
The same trend can be observed over a longer period of time. Among the awarded in 2012, the vast majority were law enforcement officers – over 80%. Most frequently issued state decoration in Belarus is the medal “For Distinguished Service” of III degree.
Regular award ceremony held by President to decorate security officials should be considered as one of the tools to ensure their loyalty to the President. In turn, regular ceremonial meetings attended by the president enable the Belarusian power elite to attend additional gatherings to harmonize their interests, which, in turn, are a prerequisite for the stability of the state power in Belarus.
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.