17 February 2019, Sunday, 13:54
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Leanid Sudalenka On ‘Parasites’: It Appeared Not Easy To Stick Everyone Spade In Teeth

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LEANID SUDALENKA
PHOTO: RADIO LIBERTY

The officials seem to have obtained another “headache”.

According to the Ministry of Housing and Utilities, in 2018, Belarusians, on average, covered 76.3% of the cost of housing and utility services. This means that the tariffs for those “unemployed in the economy” can increase by almost a quarter, writes human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka on Facebook.

Here it is important to remember that there are two categories of “not employed” - these are housing payers and their family members. I remind you, the law identifies as payers the owner or a tenant of the premises. It is assumed that such a “not employed” payer will be affected by the forthcoming increase in the payment for the hot water. Here, everything seems more or less logical.

However, what to do with the “not employed” members of the payer's family? How to solve the situation here? There is one hot water meter in the apartment! They can, while living with the payer, refrain from using hot water. Or use only on Thursdays. Or they will declare that they have warmed up water for their own needs with gas that has not yet risen in price.

Let me remind you, Lukashenka said last year: “We will fugure out the people on a personal basis: those who can, but do not want; those who want, but cannot; and those whom we will stick a spade in the teeth and send working. Let them do not take offence with me. I thought that we had 300 thousand, but there are actually 540 thousand unemployed, who fall under the third decree.”

No one doubts the political component of the Decree #3 and the desire of the authorities to control all “not employed”. But can it be put in practice? How to divide the consumed hot water on the counter between, for example, the “employed” payer of utility services and the “non-emplpoyed” member of his family? Officials counted half a million “not employed in the economy” or every 10th able-bodied Belarusian. But how many of them are payers, and how many are members of their families, we were not told!

For example, 0.6 gigacalories were spent for the water heating in an apartment of 48 square meters. Three citizens are registered in it. The payer is not employed in the economy, the rest are. The amount is divided into three; charging will be made for 0.4 Gcal at a subsidized rate, and for 0.2 - under economically justified tariff. And what about the contrary situation - the payer is “employed”, and the other two family members are “not employed?”

I still do not see the answer to this question. I think this is the biggest “headache” of the officials of the housing and communal services, who, with calculators in their hands, are currently preparing utility bills for those “not employed in the economy”. It appeared not so easy to stick everyone a spade in the teeth in practice …