26 April 2019, Friday, 3:57
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The First Warning of the Decree on "Parasites"

99

If the authorities want "western prices", they must pay "western salaries".

Minister of Labor Irina Kastsevich has recently stated that the "parasite" database is being tested in Belarus. First results of testing were promised in November.

As it turns out, the authorities are already testing the decree. Legal inspector of the Independent Trade Union of Radio and Electronic Industry (REP) of the Homel region Leanid Sudalenka answers questions of Charter97.org.

- It's a life story. IT-specialist who are not legally employed asked the REP Trade Union for help. He works for foreign companies. He does not complain.

All of a sudden, he has a phone call and is invited by the "parasite commission" to the Central District Administration of Homel.

They said they would "give a lecture how to work". He thought they would offer him a job according his education. But it was wrong. The commission may offer him, the person with higher education, a position of a road sweeper.

The person told me he would ignore this 'invitation'. But the thing is that he onws an apartment and he is interested in 100% payment for utilities which is about to be introduced since January 1.

He wonders what may happen. The state constantly intimidates us with this figure, and no one knows how high this figure is.

We have decided that he should ignore this commission. They do not have a good and interesting vacancy. This issue is just the waste of time.

Second, he promised he would gladly provide our trade union with this new "utility bill" as soon as he receives it.

I'd like to note that this is the first real case. . It's some kind of the first "alarm signal" of the new decree on "parasites".

Officials say that it also touches upon health care sector and travel tickets for public transport.

I have no idea how they are going to execute the purpose. After all, the Constitution gives the right to free medical assistance. The situation with travel tickets is also questionable. If only officials invent "a parasite travel ticket". These issues are up in the air.

- The government has voiced its intention to introduce 100% payment for utilities for all Belarusians. It turns out that all people will have to pay utilities in full after a while. Do you think the authorities want to study the reaction of "parasites" first?

- It's barely possible to find a good reason, if it does not simply exist. Of course, if the state introduces such "utility bills", it should have thought over decent salaries. Our officials declare an average salary of $500. In reality, the salary of $250 is considered very high in the regions, and people are looking forward to such vacancies.

- Well, the authorities constantly intimidate us of Western countries, where people pay 100% for utilities, but they are silent about their salaries.

- Of course, in the very Poland an average salary equals up to $1270. And here you say that you will introduce 100% payment for utilities amid such poor salaries. Ok. Then, please, insure us of the average salary, which can cover utility bills.

The authorities keep asking "Do you want the Western way of life?". Perhaps, it's time for Belarusians to say "yes".

But then I address to officials and offer them to impose a full package. If the authorities want "western prices", they must pay "western salaries".

- Why do you think mass media and ads on the public transport do not inform us about work of "parasite commissions"?

- I do not know, some people can agree with it. But the fact remains. People are already summoned to "parasite commissions". The amended decree has come into force and commissions now invite Belarusians.

You know, I strongly believed that the authorities would not dare to start the campaign before the end of the year. But it turns out they have already found people and now are all over them.

- The authorities have stated that gross violators will be sent to Medical-Labour Centres. Can this IT-specialist who asked for your help find himself in such an institution, if he refuses to pay?

- I guess it will be too much. Fortunately, there is the norm which binds powers of officials and they cannot restrict freedom. After all, there should be a court trial.

I guess that commissions will petition the court for sending "parasites" to Medical-Labour Centres.

- When can the public reaction be expected?

- The decree comes into force on January 1, 2019. But new "utility bills" will be received by Debruary 15. It's the time when all the unemployed owners of residential areas are subject to full payment. Then people will show their attitude and resentment. But I would not have shelved the problem. A solution to the problem should be looked for now.