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About 500,000 Belarusians Officially Classified As ‘Parasites’

About 500, 000 Belarusians were included in the database of the able-bodied citizens not employed in the economy.

Any Belarusian can check whether he or she got in the database via a unified portal of electronic services.

parasite law belarus

The latest figures were made public by Belarus’ Labour and Social Security Minister Irina Kostevich in an interview to Belarus 1 TV channel.

Detailed information by regions will be available in the near future. The database is to be updated quarterly, while an online update is set as a goal.

The database of unemployed individuals in Belarus was launched last Saturday, 1 December. It provides a full name, a date of birth, an identification number, and an address.

Read also: 5 facts about combating poverty in Belarus that will make you think

A controversial ‘social parasite law’ obliging jobless citizens to pay taxes was canceled this January after mass protests around the country. Instead of paying taxes, they will now have to pay for all state services, including housing and communal services in full.

Why so many?

Analytics believe the list is originally extended. It may include information about unemployed and those who went to work or study abroad.

It’s time to stop calling those registered at the labour exchange as unemployed. According to Belstat, the real unemployment rate in the country is about 5% (the actual unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2018 was 4.7% – note BelarusFeed).

Global Wealth Report: Belarus Among Poorest Nations In The World

There could be people who work abroad, pay taxes there and send money home. The state has no information about them by default. They will have to prove that they don’t work in Belarus, but work somewhere abroad,” says Vadim Iosub.

Besides, Vadim Iosub assumes that the self-employed who didn’t register as individual entrepreneurs could have got into the database too. Meanwhile, the state officials interpret a new approach as an encouragement for unemployed citizens to seek legal employment.

What is a parasite law?

Decree No3 “On the Prevention of Social Dependence” was adopted in 2015. It imposed a special tax (over $200) upon Belarusians who work less than half of a calendar year and don’t sign up at the country’s labor exchanges.

parasite law belarus

The law exempted registered job-seekers, homemakers, subsistence farmers, and Belarusian working in Russia.

360° photos of Minsk protest

The non-payment of the tax was supposed to be punished with a fine, or administrative arrest. The payment of the fine didn’t exempt from the payment of the tax.