Belarus has one of the highest levels of state expenditure in the CIS. This was announced to journalists in Minsk on Saturday, January 25 by John Litvack, the head of a World Bank mission to Belarus which is due to complete its evaluation of the country's state expenditure today.
According to the mission's preliminary findings, state expenditure in Belarus is 60% of GDP. Litvack said that 'the share of budgetary and non-budgetary expenditure in Belarus is very high in comparison with other countries with transitional economies, including the Russian Federation.'
A high level of state expenditure requires high taxation, a burden which the international experts believe is born by Belarussian taxpayers. 'The Belarussian government recognizes the need for a general reduction in state expenditure,' said Litvack.
In turn, Anatoly Sverzh, the First Deputy Finance Minister of Belarus, declared that 'we understand perfectly well that we have a high tax burden and are endeavoring to reduce it.' Sverzh explained the country's high level of state expenditure as a consequence of the socially-oriented policy being carried out by the Belarussian leadership. He said that the Belarussian government was obliged to work within these restrictions.