The leader of the independent REP Trade Union has commented on the government's statement on raising pensions by BYN 20 from November 1.
Irina Kostevich, the Economy Minister, has stated that from November 1, pensions will increase by BYN 20. Earlier, Sergey Rumas, the new Prime Minister, promised that until the end of this year, his government plans to increase pensions by another 5%.
Belarus has drafted decree on increasing pensions: by how much and when will pensions grow?
Gennady Fedynich has commented on the statements of high-ranking officials:
"Every quarter, the presidential administration conducts social surveys in regions. I'd recommend them to study pensioners separately. To what extent are pensions satisfying the usual needs of pensioners, people who had worked all their lives at farms, organizations and enterprises? The today's average pension is BYN 374 per month; since November 1, it will be BYN 394 – should we be proud of that?"
"Arithmetically, this is really some increase, but people see quite well how prices are scaling up. Chicken meat, sausages, dairy products – usual pensioners' food is becoming more and more expensive day after day. Traders have various tricks to hide it: earlier, a pack contained a litre of milk, now they put 0.9 litres into it and sell at the same price. Poor pensioners have to walk through all the shops and look for something cheaper – they cannot live for their pensions! Isn't it really clear to the government?"
"Maybe it is not: they are all high-ranking officials; and their pensions will be at least BYN 800, while the MPs, the so-called 'people's elects' will retire at BYN 1000 and more. Why should they think about ordinary pensioners with BYN 370 per month?"
The REP leader reminds that in the neighbouring countries average pensions are much higher, namely, in Estonia it is BYN 1100 in equivalent, in Latvia – BYN 890, in Lithuania – BYN 800:
"Why can such small countries, which have much less production facilities, pay people such decent pensions? Our officials should go there, learn and borrow their experience. Stop your arithmetic tricks! It's high time to introduce the funded pension system, under which every worker and employee is willingly and consciously forming his/her own pension account and knows that it will not disappear after his/her death and go to children and grandchildren. Until you introduce it, every year more and more pensioners will fall into the abyss of poverty."