How are the authorities to compensate for cancellation of benefits?
The law “On social benefits” is prepared and has already been sent to officials from the House of Representatives. It is planned to be considered in May. At the moment deputies are still trying to preserve at least some of the benefits. The head of the Standing Commission of the Council of the Republic on education, science, culture and social issues Anatol Novikau confirmed that the new law will not be applied to war veterans. Deputies are also against the cancellation of the discount for public transport tickets for students and pupils.
A deputy Larysa Vershalovich shared her opinion on the problem:
“I suggested that they should leave free medicine for children under the age of three – just like it is now. It is important for me because they are children, they are our future. They need to receive medicine in time even if their parents lack money. They should at least allow giving children free medicine in urgent situations. I hope they will take this into account”.
A deputy Svyatlana Hil does not think this suggestion is really necessary:
“If benefits are cancelled, there will always be people who will need money and the state will be supporting them.
I suggest thinking about such people before cancelling benefits and taking precautions against problems of the kind. For example, I am worried about families with handicapped children. And about lonely veterans of labour who will be deprived of all their benefits”.
Maybe Sbyatlana Vikentseuna is right. There are working veterans of labour. There are military men who reserved their commission and are working but they are still getting those benefits.
A deputy Volha Abramava says that none of the suggestions has been approved yet. But she announced her suggestion during the appeal of the President to the Belarusian people and Parliament:
“I think this bill can be passed only together with a new project on social protection. The state should also explain why this project has to be approved and why it is necessary. They should think about compensation for at least some of those categories of people”.
Compensations for some benefits are ready at the moment. A deputy Hanna Burava says:
“During the first reading we passed a bill which would increase the financial aid given to families bringing up children to 80% of the living wage”.
80 per cent is about 140 thousand BRB. Some financial aid may also be given to families when children are born which will compensate for the cancellation of free medicine in some way. But what can compensate for the cancellation of the discount for public transport tickets for students and pensioners? Higher scholarship and pension? At the moment one can only dream about it.
Most likely, the first hearing of the project will take place in May. It is difficult to say when it will be passed.