12 December 2018, Wednesday, 4:53
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Former Minister of Labour: Pensioners' Money Spent on Residencies of Lukashenka

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Belarusians have already experienced the "hole" in the Social Security Fund (SSF).

Within 10 years the deficit of the SSF has increased tenfold. Permanent shortage of funds equals to 10%. Lukashenka slipped up at the meeting with the government.

Belarusians have already created a petition. They say that the Fund deprives employees of their right to benefits.

Charter97.org asked former Minister of Labour and Social Security Aliaksandr Sasnou for comments:

- The problem in the Fund really exists. I'd like to stress that it was evident 25 years ago. Unfortunately, the authorities did not want to solve it then. Though there was an opportunity to solve those problems and use funds from other spheres.

Now the situation has aggravated. The economy does not work. It's not possible to increase deductions to the SSF. It would mean growth of product costs which is not popular even now.

The situation is as follows: only ways to somehow solve the existing problem in the SSF are a retirement age increase and early pass-away of pensioners. Unfortunately, this is the result of government's activity.

- Aliaksandr Viktaravich, how do you assess the pension system in the country as a whole?

- It's not a secret that it is not reformed. Belarus has a Soviet system. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the pension system should have been changed, with a partial insurance system.

You know, it was all planned 25-26 years ago. But the new power did not want to bring changes in this sphere. They tried to fill holes without solving any acute problems in the pension system.

- Belarusians have recently created the petition. They say that the Fund deprives employees of their right to benefits. Does it relate to the deficit in the fund?

- The situation is that the authorities may find some money to pay for sick leaves. But it's just a palliative care, but not a solution. And if they find some money, it will not be a healing. Our economy is decaying. This is the best discription of the situation. Belarusians will feel "results" of managing of the current power.

- Who do you think will be the first to suffer cuts of pensions caused by the "hole" in the SSF? What is the most vulnerable group?

- I don't think that the authorities will take direct cuts of pensions. There are side methods and tricks. For example, they can boost an inflation, money printing. At that, they can increase payments for ones and leave some without changes for others. Nevertheless, I do not think that former law enforcement officers will suffer it.

We should be ready for the situation deterioration. Everyone will face it.

- What way out do you see here?

- You know, I do not want to offer anything. It was offered 25 years ago and nothing was done. Let them tackle it on their own.

- How do you think the unemployment benefit of 24 rubles characterize the "welfare" state?

- It was fun for me to hear about an alleged "welfare" policy line of the authorities. Sweden, Norway, Denmark are real welfare states. Our policy line aims only at welfare of some people.

The power in Belarus is seized by people who have no idea where the world economy goes. And they are not capable of doing anything good.

The unemployment benefit of 12 dollars shows the true nature of the current government and its relation towards Belarusians. People have to leave abroad or to cut their already low consumption level.

In general, poor system leads to poor results. The problem is that the economy is not efficient.

- What is money of Belarusians spent on then?

- Deductions to the Social Security Fund go to the budget. The government manage the budget. One can say that Belarusians get miserable pensions and benefits, because the budget is wasted on "exigencies" of the government.

For example, Lukashenka's residencies are built at the expense of the budget. Belarusians serve as sponsors for construction of his numerous palaces.