Lukashenka Cancels 'Parasite Tax' On Unemployed In Belarus

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has signed a decree canceling a controversial law obliging unemployed individuals to pay taxes as "social parasites."

According to the decree signed on January 25, instead of paying taxes, jobless Belarusians will pay in full for all state services, receiving no subsidies. The list of such services has not been established.

The decree also says that special government commissions in the country's regions will work to find jobs for unemployed citizens.

The 2015 law establishing a "parasite tax" sparked protests in Minsk and other cities the following year, prompting Lukashenka to announce that collection would be suspended until 2018.The law echoed Soviet-era legislation under which unemployed citizens could face criminal prosecution.