Gennady Fedynich, the Chairman of the REP Trade Union, has commented on the amendments, suggested by Belarusian MPs to Ordinance No. 3.
According to the FINANCE.TUT.BY, the Ministry of Labour has sent draft amendments to the ordinance "on parasitism" to regional executive committees, the Minsk city executive committee and other state bodies for approval. The letter signed by Irina Kostevich has a note "Very Urgent!"
Gennady Fedynich believes that the proposed amendments are devoid of logic and cannot satisfy the hundreds of thousands people, outraged by the injustice of the ordinance "on parasites".
“It is clear that the authorities have analyzed situations of those people who applied to tax inspectorates and executive committees and were rejected. For example, a young man came to us, a beekeeper, who has 30 beehives. He took a certificate from the rural soviet and came to the executive committee; and there he was told: you have used the land not for the purpose; the land was given to you for farming, not for breeding bees. There are tens of thousands of such stories throughout the country. The parliamentarians (MPs), while trying to extinguish the people’s anger, decided to somewhat ‘brush’ the ordinance, apparently believing that people are stupid and will calm down with this. However, it’s not the case,” the trade union leader is sure.
Gennady Fedynich has explained to the praca-by.info why the belated MPs’ initiative, in his opinion, will not solve the problems created by the scandalous ordinance:
On exemption of land plot owners:
“The MPs suggest exempting from paying the tax the people who own land plots, regardless of the purpose and location of these plots. The exception is made by those, who are engaged in floriculture, and residents of regional centres and Minsk. This amendment is causing not irritation, but just a smile. Tell me, what is the difference between the labour on the land that belongs territorially to the regional city from the work in the countryside or in the district centre? Further, if a villager plants potatoes or beetroots, he is not a parasite, but if he grows flowers – he is, isn't he? Where is the logic, how to explain this? It’s a complete stupidity,” the trade union leader is sure.
On exemption of spouses of servicemen and young specialists
“Well, the spouses of young professionals, who have gone to the distribution place, who (spouses) cannot find a job, are exempted from paying the tax. And those who live in this area, where there is no work for years, are considered as parasites. How should we understand this? The MPs admit that it is difficult to find work there, and, at the same time force people to pay the tax.”
Besides, the amendments say nothing about demobilized conscripts from regular service, who cannot get a job for six months. They, too, are still covered by the ordinance.
On exemption of students
“They suggest exempting students in the year of admission and the year of graduation, it's good. And those who, most often at their own expense, raise their qualification by studying at various courses must pay the tax. People spend their money to increase their value at the labour market, to be more useful to the country, and they are labelled as parasites. The authorities should encourage such initiatives, but they are punishing them.”
On exemption of people caring for invalids
“Among those who applied for help to us and, I think, to tax inspectorates and executive committees, there were many people, who were forced not to work, because they are taking care of their elderly parents or sick relatives, who were not officially recognized as invalids, but, nevertheless, need care. The MPs propose to exempt from the tax only those, who take care of people older than 80 years. Why have they chosen this age, why not 79 or 75 years?”
On mothers raising children
“And where are the housewives who bring up their children? The state should pray to these women. If the husband's salary allows his wife not to work and take care that their children are well-groomed, shod, dressed, fed, and properly maintained, the authorities should only rejoice and encourage, but not depreciating their labour by this ordinance.”
On the decision to send all the collected funds to support children
"What children are meant? If there is such a problem in the country, which has children's homes, where children are starving, have not enough clothes and textbooks, just admit honestly that the state is not able to give these children a normal education, a normal life, and people will collect money themselves. But, please, tell people where exactly their money went, to which particular orphanage. And then, report on how much money from the state budget is spent on building and maintaining numerous ice palaces.”
“The MPs are trying to show that they have interfered and did a good thing, no one believes them any more. Firstly, a natural question, where were they before? Secondly, and most importantly, the proposed amendments are touching a very small number of people and in no way solve the problem of hundreds of thousands of those who cannot find decent work, especially in district centres, to earn at least 400 roubles per month, not 150-200, to be able at least to support their families and pay their utility bills.”
“Therefore, the MPs’ amendments will add no trust in the authorities, and will not restore the social justice. Ordinance No. 3 should be cancelled; the authorities should apologize to citizens for this humiliation, and return to them their earlier paid taxes in full,” Gennady Fedynich has summed up.