Analysis of the Welfare Sphere Branches in Belarus: the Lessons are to be Learned
Volume 26, Issue 3 (2018), pp. 67–78
Pub. online: 4 August 2022 Type: Article Open Access
4 August 2022
4 August 2022
ABSTRACTThe topic of welfare sector development in Belarus nowadays is of huge interest since by means of the welfare development level it is possible to judge the level of the country’s economic system and the quality of public sector services as well. In recent years, especially in times of recession, the welfare sector positions in Belarus have been considerably weakened. This is partly explained by the aspiration to keep the old Soviet designs in the welfare system construction. At the same time, when national and subnational budgets are planned, governments try to hold with great difficulty the budgetary indicators of the welfare sphere at the level of last years. Such attempts, however, lead to the saving of budgetary funds only and they influence the deterioration of the welfare quality. The present paper pursues the aim to show: (i) what tendencies of social budgetary policy can be observed in the time of economic recession, (ii) how consistent was the welfare orientation of the central and local budgets in practice, and (iii) prospect ways for the welfare sector financing and what new financial tools and mechanisms are to be introduced. In the paper, methodology is linked with the suggested approach to evaluate the authority’s fiscal efforts in welfare branches development using the elasticity coefficient in which exists the correlation between expenditure on welfare sphere branches and total budget revenues. By inserting the authority’s financial reports data into the elasticity coefficient there is an opportunity to assess the authority’s fiscal efforts in welfare policy. The main methodology background is based on financial reports of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Belarus and on-line databases present in the public finance area. The author considers the Belarusian welfare branches in national and subnational budgets, their structure, dynamics and other important indicators. A comparative analysis of the welfare sector branches with other European countries is submitted. The paper highlights the inconsistent policy of the Belarusian authorities in the sphere of the welfare branches’ funding. Also, there are considered debatable issues of the welfare sphere finance reformation in Belarus during the economic crisis.