18 January 2018, Thursday, 6:48

Fight on non-transparent salaries will strike at taxi drivers and individual entrepreneurs


The authorities are inventing new sophisticated ways to fill in the budget at the expense of common Belarusians.

This comes from an interview that the coordinator of the youth network of the Trade Union of Radio and Electronics Industry (TUREI) Andrej Stryzhak gave to the charter97.org web-site.

- Belarusian authorities have announced strengthening the fight on so-called salaries in envelopes with the purpose of “eliminating the negative consequences for the economy”. Is that what it is?

- This is not the first time that the authorities are trying to do that, because I remember several such large-scale campaigns, in which they said that it was harmful for the economy, as well as for the workers, since the Social Security deposits were calculated on a lower baseline, which influences future pension payments. It is clear that they always need money, but the current situation is that right now the Belarusian authorities need it very much. That is why one should understand that this is an attempt to full in the budget by the means of increasing taxes, which will be paid from transparent salaries.

On the one hand, we can understand that, of course, because the society and a worker are better protected, when the salaries are transparent. But our private enterprises have been put into the conditions of multiple non-tariff regulations and some quitrents that they have to pay to local budgets for improving the adjacent territories etc. It thus turns out that these entrepreneurs simply have to apply such “gray” payment methods.

- How could this be implemented?

- Actually, the phenomenon is pretty hard to fight on, since on the part of the people there is interest in receiving salaries in envelopes and the scheme, by which they receive a certain transparent salary and what is above that comes in a non-transparent way. It turns out that it is quite difficult to set this right, because the practice is already deeply rooted in the society as well as the understanding why it happens this way and where this may lead.

- Whom will it concern first of all and are there any data on the number of Belarusians, who receive their incomes in this way?

- Specifically our organization did not make anonymous surveys, while there can be no statistics on this topic at all. But I can tell that it is quite a significant number of citizens of our country and it is clear that those are the people, who are employed at private businesses. Most likely this will concern small retailers and certain services, where the cash flow comes to whoever performs the services that there is a possibility to avoid using the cash register. For example, when in a public taxi, you do not get a ticket every single time, so it turns out that this money goes “gray”. So we can say that on the list of the subjects of the fight on salaries in envelopes will be the drivers of fixed-route taxis – this is a risk group. But it is still unclear, how they will track and prevent such non-transparent payments.