Idlers should be made to work, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka said said at Thurdday’s meeting with top officials.
“We need to discuss the proposals of the government on employment in detail. I have promised to prepare and adopt a presidential decree to develop well-known Decree No. 3 by the end of the year. Back then we agreed that to avoid criticism for retrograde thinking we should work out this draft legal act taking into account the drawbacks and even mistakes which were made in the preparation of Ordinance No. 3. This document should be more pragmatic,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka.
According to him, a revised version of Decree No. 3 should be ‘pragmatic’ and ‘balanced’.
“On the one hand, people should be able to get jobs. On the other hand, we must make people work if they do not want to,” the president said.
In his opinion, it is the local authorities that should decide if people can work or not and define if they are in a difficult life situation or not. It is up to them to expose social parasites and make them work, he stressed.
Decree Nr 3 signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka in April, 2015 established the obligation of the citizens of Belarus, foreign citizens permanently residing in Belarus, stateless persons, who did not participate in the financing of public spending or participated in such financing less than 183 days (six months – ed.) in the past year, to pay a fee of 20 basic units (appr. $230).
Lukashenka vs parasite tax critics (ENG subtitles)
The notorious decree caused a massive public outcry. In February-March, protests were held in a number of Belarusian cities and towns.
On March 25, Belarusians came to main squares of their cities to protest the ‘parasite’ law and celebrate the unofficial Freedom Day. But the Minsk riot police brutally dispersed the protest. Hundreds of people – even women, elderly people, journalists and ordinary passers-by – were arrested, battered and jailed.
Police beating protesters on March, 25 (ENG subs)
In March, Lukashenka ordered to suspend the decree for a year after the protests that took place in different regions of Belarus. In August, he spoke of the need to improve the scandalous decree which caused outrage among Belarusians.