Belarus proudly calls itself a social state. Indeed, Belarus boasts one of the lowest poverty and inequality levels in the region. Fiscal policy in Belarus is equalising and pro-poor, effectively redistributing income from rich to poor. As in Russia and many other post-Soviet states, the equalising effect of the fiscal policy in Belarus is mostly attributable to the pension system. Some of the other social policies are highly inefficient, failing to redistribute income. The prominent examples are utility subsidies and student stipends, which mainly benefit the upper part of the income distribution. The lack of adequate unemployment benefits is an opportunity to improve the efficiency of the social support system in Belarus.
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