Workers increasingly dissatisfied with economic policies and step up protests in Belarusian regions
Due to wage delays, workers at Molodechno Blue Steel Plant have gone on strike and refused to come to work. Non-payment of wages, falling incomes, stoppages, reduced working hours and mass layoffs are gradually leading to growing tension among the population in the regions working at state enterprises. If protest activity escalates, the authorities would be ready to meet the workers’ demands. When presidential campaign starts, the authorities are likely to use internal reserves to remedy the situation in the labour movement and to temporarily freeze protest activity. Political activity and protest voting is therefore unlikely to increase during the election period.
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.