Orbán: economic growth should benefit everyone
Hungary’s economic growth is a “shared success” from which everyone, including retirees, should benefit, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Monday. He said at next year’s minimum wage agreement signing ceremony that building a labor-based economy was a top priority for his government. “If we have jobs, we have everything, that’s the baseline,” he said.
Orbán said the government continually strives to reduce taxes on labor, adding that these taxes have been reduced by 25% since 2010. “Realized that the representation of the people must be at the center of the government’s concerns, this which will provide a common basis for unions and employers to reach an agreement ”.
Regarding the wage agreement, Orbán said the monthly minimum wage would be 200,000 forints (548 EUR) and the minimum wage for skilled workers at 260,000 forints. He added that the salaries of people participating in public works programs would also be “significantly” increased.
Between 2002 and 2010, under previous governments, the real value of the minimum wage declined by 2 percent, while in other countries in the region it increased by 30 percent, Orbán said. After 2010, the government made it a priority to “break away from the practice of low minimum wages, to offer jobs rather than benefits, to ensure that all who are able to work have a job and that the work is financially rewarding, not just moral, ”he insisted.
Over the past 12 years, the minimum wage in Hungary has been increased by 172 percent, said Orbán, adding that it was “the biggest achievement of the Hungarian trade union movement”. “That everyone can work is the greatest success of employers and the fact that the public finances are also kept in order is the success of the government,” he said.
Orbán said cutting taxes on employers “would create more jobs and higher wages,” which would further boost the economy‘s performance. The “focal point” of a labor-based economy is a “tax system that can improve competitiveness,” Orbán said, and argued that “tax cuts have made it possible to negotiate higher wages every year. “.
The government has “proposed an alliance to act together” with unions and employers, Orbán said, adding that raising the minimum wage would also lead to an increase in average wages. Therefore, Monday’s deal “is not only good news for low wages, but for all those who work.”
Laszlo Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, said Hungary’s economy has performed well even during the coronavirus outbreak, adding that “the government’s measures are working” and the national economy is “at new among the best performing ”in Europe. He also noted that Hungary’s unemployment rate was among the lowest in the EU.
Imre Palkovics, president of the MOSZ trade union federation, hailed the negotiations that led to the agreement as a “predictable model for both employees and employers”. He also added that currently 300,000 Hungarians were earning the minimum wage and 800,000 were receiving the minimum for a skilled workforce.