14 November 2018, Wednesday, 15:21
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Special Travel Tickets and Paid Medical Care to Be Introduced for 'Parasites'?

The authorities may extend the list of services subject to the 'parasite decree'.

Belarus has made up a 'trial' database of the unemployed. The final version of the datatbade will appear on December 1.

Why do the authorities need the trial version and how can the enlisted resist the system? Leanid Sudalenka, the legal inspector of labour of the Independent Trade Union of Radio and Electronic Industry (REP), answers questions.

- No matter how the authorities call these databases. It will not make a difference. There is Lukashenka's decree, the result of Decree No. 3, which is fixed. They failed with tax collection in 2017. Now they use another way, the Housing and Communal Service (HCS), to do it. "Parasite commissions" create "bases".

Thus, one thing is essential: Lukashenka's decree exists and the authorities want to exercise it. Officials will create "intermediate" and "permanent" database.

It is not significant, because the condition of the Belarusian economy is the one of great concern. The state may offer only low-paid jobs. For example, the salary of 300-400 rubles is high in Homel.

Lack of investments, absence of reforms poses a real problem; everything is up in the air. And no one knows when this bubble pops. It's quite possible that tomorrow the state can face problems with pension payments. Against this backdrop, the "parasite" decree and the database look weird.

- This time the authorities do not intend to send out "letters of happiness". The HCS will just deliver the rent bill subject to payment in full. What's the reason for such secrecy?

- The authorities may be scared of possible prompt response. New tariff rates will be like a kick in the head to "parasites". It may be the plan of the authorities. The time when we learn about rent bills will come in mid-February.

Though, no matter how hard the authorities try, there are early signs. I mean people from the "trial" datatbase who are ready to resist the system. A freelance IT specialist, who has not been officially employed for the last three years, has asked our Trade Uninon for help.

The commission found him and now tries to invite him for an "interview". He owns three-room apartment and authors of the decree are increasingly interested in such people.

We had a conversation and decided to ignore the "invitation" and to wait for the rent bill to learn what rent bill a "native" state will send in January.

But I say once again - these are first signs. If financial claims against "parasites" are of mass character, then things the authorities are afraid of may occur. People will rebel and start expressing their disaffection again, including mass street actions and on social networks.

- How does it feel like to receive such a notice all of a sudden? There were cases of suicides caused by the "parasite decree" in 2017. Can it happen again?

- Surely, because the authorities have no decent job offers. The other day I had a conversation with a saleswoman from Rechytsa. Her salary is 240 rubles. And she works 12 hours a day! How is it possible to live on this money?

To divide people into categories is the prerogative of a weak power. A strong one has never been involved in it. On the contrary, people in the world who have no job are rendered assistance, including benefits, which are enough for living. Our government tries to get everything away from people. One way or another: special prices for services and rent bills. They say, special travel tickets and paid medical care will be introduced.

- Does this approach violate international regulations? Can it be used in resistance to the decree on "parasites"?

- We, lawyers, do not sit still. We are thinking over counter measures.

Do you remember the "first parasite complaint" of Aliaksandr Siamenau in Homel? He won that case. I guess we will institute two, three "parasite claims".

As soon as our Homel IT specialist receives the new "rent bill", we will come to court and wonder why the state divides people into classes. It means segregations, the violation both of the Constitution and international legal norms.

Again, this IT specialist buys more things than the saleswoman with the salary of 240 rubles, and he pays indirect taxes. But the state goes not interested in the saleswoman, but in the freelance IT specialist who owns more. And the authorities should be liable for such an approach.