What new in revised ‘freeloaders’ tax’?

Photo: TASS
Photo: TASS

A revised decree No notoriously known as 'freeloaders' tax' 3 was recenetly tabled with the head of state. However, even those who drafted the revisions do not know what one gets in the end. Director of the Institute of Economics at the National Academy of Sciences Valery BelskiIt says it was suggested to refuse from ‘the freeloaders’ tax’.

What else should we expect if the President agrees to sign the revised decree?

It was much easier in the previous version, government officials reckon. If one had not worked for 180 days a year, a person was supposed to pay 20 base amounts (BYN460 or EUR200) as of January 1, 2017) to the state. If you did not pay the tax, you would be fined 2-4 base amounts. Some categories of citizens were exempt from the tax. Thousands of people wanted to prove that they were not freeloaders.

What do we have now? It has been suggested to refuse from the tax and to charge ‘freeloaders’ the full price for gas and heating instead.

What will happen if one family member has a job and the other one does not?

"There is a special mechanism. If the housing space is 20 square meters per person, it will be affected by reduced tariffs. If it is bigger, you will pay more. It is possible to exclude the person who does not have a job from this housing space norm. There will be more problems if they decide to increase the fare for such people (subsidized by the state),” director of the Institute of Economics of the National Academy of Sciences Valery Belski noted.

It is yet to be decided what categories of citizens will be considered as ‘without occupation'. The draft suggests denoting these categories by November 1, 2017. A relevant data base will be created. Special commissions (no other way is possible!) will try to find employment for them.

What will happen if there are no vacancies?

“There are vacancies. The problem is the wage. Nevertheless, there is a way to get placement. Some people say: “Why should I work for this money?!’ But you need to start somewhere. There are placement issues in some areas, especially in rural ones.  But if you work on your own farm, you will be exempt from this tax,” Valery Belski reassured.

The new decree should come into force on January 1, 2019. It is already clear that the measures ‘aimed at revealing unemployed citizens having a source of income’ will be enhanced.

Full conversation with Valery Belski: