Thursday 19 September 2019 | 13:55

Opinion: The state lacks a comprehensive anticrisis program and a roadmap for socio-economic reforms

24.01.2016  |  Society
Opinion: The state lacks a comprehensive anticrisis program and a roadmap for socio-economic reforms

Currently, the authorities seek to lower tension in society over reduced state’s social guarantees, while preserving the state monopoly in the economy.

The Belarusian authorities have been prompted to initiate a discussion in the Belarusian society about introducing highly unpopular measures in order to relieve tension and to find a compromising solution. The state is aimed at seeking ways to optimize the existing socio-economic model and boost economic development by cutting state social guarantees. Anyway, measures proposed by the states do not envisage structural economic reforms or reduced state control of the economy.

Assistant to the president and PhD in economy Kiryl Rudy published an article in the Belarusian Economic Review, in which he explained why the retirement age should be raised and maternity leave reduced.

The Belarusian authorities launched a major campaign aiming to prepare public opinion for the inevitability of unpopular decisions, such as increasing the retirement age and reducing maternity leave. Statements by some high level officials, including the president indicate that the principled decision has already been made. So the authorities are set to discuss the timing for introducing such measures and suitable compensation mechanisms.

Both, independent and state pollsters have confirmed the extreme unpopularity among the population of the idea of raising the retirement age, which is likely to lead to enhanced protest moods. However, state pollsters from the Sociology Institute at the National Academy of Sciences said that poll results revealed that people "have the understating of the fact that the retirement age will be risen any way".

The authorities lack a comprehensive anti-crisis programme and a roadmap for socio-economic reforms, which results in low support from society. Assistant to the President and PhD in economy Kirill Rudy in his article explained the need for raising the retirement age and shortening maternity leave as probable factors of economic growth in the near future and in the five-year period.

Unpopular initiatives by the authorities to raise the retirement age and reducing maternity leave have caused a debate in the expert community and the opposition, dividing them in their assessments of the authorities’ initiatives.

Some independent media reporters have supported the state in its endeavor to cut social guarantees to the population, seeing it as an element of reforming the existing socio-economic model. However, they think it is unnecessary or even harmful for the authorities to consult with the population, where paternalistic attitudes dominate. Other independent analysts and opposition leaders are critical of the authorities’ unpopular action and hope to raise their ratings with populist rhetoric.

In addition, the government does not have a holistic view of the country’s further development, and demonstrates a desire to maintain the existing socio-economic model in a shortened form. In recent years, the authorities were only reducing social obligations to the population, without liberalization and structural economic reforms.

Currently, the authorities seek to lower tension in society over reduced state’s social guarantees, while preserving the state monopoly in the economy.

It is very likely that the final decision about increasing the retirement age and reducing maternity leave, as well as the amount of state compensation for people’s losses may be adopted within a few months of an "outreach" campaign and after the parliamentary elections.

Solidarity with Belarus Information Office

Other news section «Society»

“It is our big joint work”
“It is our big joint work”
It is impossible to change life in cities just in three years (the timeline of the “Agenda 50” campaign implementation). But changing the structure of relationships in local communities is possible.
The “Agenda 50” campaign was finalised by the Regional Development Forum
The “Agenda 50” campaign was finalised by the Regional Development Forum
The Forum was devoted not so much to the outputs as to the challenges and prospects after the creation and signing of local agendas.
Mikhail Matskevich: How to create a local agenda and make it a problem solving tool
Mikhail Matskevich: How to create a local agenda and make it a problem solving tool
To achieve changes, you need to be interested in them and stop pinning all hopes on the state.
“If a person cannot leave the apartment, he or she does not need an accessible Opera House”
“If a person cannot leave the apartment, he or she does not need an accessible Opera House”
In Stoubcy, they talked about universal design and conducted pilot monitoring of two urban sites accessibility.
Local agenda in Valożyn: mission accomplished
Local agenda in Valożyn: mission accomplished
"Specificity is different, but the priority is general." In Valożyn, a local strategy for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed.
How Ščučyn was proceeding towards the solution of problems of people with disabilities
How Ščučyn was proceeding towards the solution of problems of people with disabilities
The campaign "Agenda 50" was summed up in Ščučyn, and a local action plan for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed there.
A program to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities was designed in Stolin
A program to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities was designed in Stolin
The regional center has become the second city in Belarus where the local plan for the implementation of the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed.
“Agenda 50” in Belarus: from strategies to implementation
“Agenda 50” in Belarus: from strategies to implementation
Representatives of the campaign “Agenda 50” from five pilot cities discussed achievements in creating local agendas for implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In Stoubcy, a local action plan for the implementation of the Convention was signed
In Stoubcy, a local action plan for the implementation of the Convention was signed
It is noteworthy that out of the five pilot cities, Stoubcy was the last to join the campaign “Agenda 50”, but the first one to complete the preparation of the local agenda.
The monitoring of accessibility was presented in Stolin
The monitoring of accessibility was presented in Stolin
On May 28, the city hosted a presentation of the results of the project "Equal to Equal" which was dedicated to monitoring the barrier-free environment in the city.
“They think if the legs don’t function, neither functions the head.”
“They think if the legs don’t function, neither functions the head.”
In Babruysk, wheelchair users are fighting discrimination.
The real work of the Convention depends on all interested communities and organizations
The real work of the Convention depends on all interested communities and organizations
What results has the campaign "Agenda 50" given, what helps to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the regions?
The Convention is a fight against fears, barriers and stigmata
The Convention is a fight against fears, barriers and stigmata
Experts in Valožyn have determined that the quality of people’s life depends on their awareness.
The Convention should become a "living tool”, rather than remaining just an ordinary document
The Convention should become a "living tool”, rather than remaining just an ordinary document
On March 3, members of the campaign "Agenda 50" from different Belarusian cities met in Minsk. The campaign is aimed at the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The main thing is one’s personal motivation for full active life (PHOTOS)
The main thing is one’s personal motivation for full active life (PHOTOS)
There are being implemented three projects under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities campaign in the city of Babruysk.
One man does not make a team, but united we are able to do a lot
One man does not make a team, but united we are able to do a lot
In Ščučyn, people with disabilities learned to be leaders and to advocate their interests.
Barrier-free environment – it is not a ramp, but a means of independence (PHOTOS)
Barrier-free environment – it is not a ramp, but a means of independence (PHOTOS)
In Stolin, social organizations and local authorities are implementing a project aimed at independent living of persons with disabilities, and creating local agenda for the district.
Polish experts: We say “equality” and you say “inclusion”
Polish experts: We say “equality” and you say “inclusion”
Will creation of local agendas be an effective tool in ensuring rights of persons with disabilities in Belarus, just as it was in Poland?
“It is impossible to talk about persons with disabilities separately from the rest of the country”
“It is impossible to talk about persons with disabilities separately from the rest of the country”
The understanding that all people have equal rights has been the basis for social changes, including those related to disability issues, in Poland.
Andrei Yahorau: Everything depends on people in the regions
Andrei Yahorau: Everything depends on people in the regions
A social project "Equal to Equal" has been launched in Stolin district under the campaign "Agenda 50".
Gintautas Mažeikis: The relation of political field and arena in the framework of information war

In his report, philosopher Gintautas Mažeikis discusses several concepts that have been a part of the European social and philosophical thought for quite a time.

“It is our big joint work”

It is impossible to change life in cities just in three years (the timeline of the “Agenda 50” campaign implementation). But changing the structure of relationships in local communities is possible.

Shhh! Belarus Wants You to Think It’s Turning Over a New Leaf

Minsk’s muddled media clampdown could jeopardize warming of relations with the West.

Mikhail Matskevich: How to create a local agenda and make it a problem solving tool

To achieve changes, you need to be interested in them and stop pinning all hopes on the state.