orban trumpets harsh hungarian \workfare\ scheme
Last Updated : GMT 17:37:35
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Orban trumpets harsh Hungarian \'workfare\' scheme

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Orban trumpets harsh Hungarian \'workfare\' scheme

Putnok - AFP

For Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary's rising employment rate is more evidence of his masterful economic stewardship and another reason to give him a new term in elections on April 6. Under his watch, the number of working Hungarians has soared to a two decade high. Inflation has also eased sharply and the economy is growing. But critics say the drastic improvement in employment numbers was driven by a harsh "workfare" scheme -- welfare in exchange for work -- that masks deeper problems. Before Orban won a landslide election victory in 10-million-strong Hungary in 2010, just 55 percent of the working-age population had a job, one of the worst rates in the European Union. But now, the rate is a much healthier 60 percent. "Who would have thought a few years ago that this would be a country of increasing employment," the right-wing Orban, 50, triumphantly declared in a recent speech on the campaign trail. "Well, while it's falling elsewhere in Europe, it's rising here in Hungary." Promising to create a million jobs in 10 years and a "work-based society", Orban cut the average benefit payment to around 25 percent below the minimum wage. He also slashed the amount of time people could claim benefits to three months from nine months -- the shortest in the EU -- and made continued assistance conditional on joining the workfare scheme. The scheme has put 200,000 people in casual work such as in hospitals and schools, cleaning streets or doing agricultural work. - Unorthodox but effective - In Putnok, a town of 8,000 people in Hungary's rundown northeastern former industrial and mining heartland, mayor Barnabas Tamas is chuffed. "Not since the change from communism have so many people been working here," a jovial Tamas, 61, mayor since 1994 and a member of Orban's party, told AFP in Putnok town hall. "Like many of the government's policies, it's unorthodox," he said. "But it works, anyone can get a job here if they want one." But economists say that Orban has done little to fix Hungary's underlying job market malaise. Around 60 percent of new jobs created in Hungary in 2013 are from the workfare scheme. Just 20 percent are private sector jobs, with the remainder in the public sector. "Orban's policies have not actually led to many new investors or open market jobs," said Adam Keszeg, a labour market analyst with Raiffeisen Bank. The opposition, which surveys indicate will have a tough time beating Orban next month, agrees. "He promised real jobs, but all we got is public works," Istvan Nyako from the Socialists told AFP while canvassing in Putnok market. "It gives poor people no choice, and mayors exploit it to get dirty work done on the cheap." A worker in the workfare scheme takes home 50,000 forints (160 euros, $200) per month, compared to the 67,000 forints minimum wage. Rights groups have also complained that the workers are not entitled to benefits like paid sick leave and holidays. "We work hard outside all day, clearing paths in winter, mending road surfaces in summer, all for a poverty wage," complains red-faced Laszlo Hajdu, 57, a heavy-set former miner, shovelling snow a few blocks from the mayor's office. But Zoltan Kovacs, state secretary at the Ministry of Human Resources, argued that public work is a temporary solution in unemployment blackspots. "The long-term aim is to get people -- many of whom have not worked for many years -- back into real work," he told AFP in his Budapest office. "If the economy grows then we can pay more," he says. "It's a philosophical shift, we want to get citizens active again, paying into the system and getting benefits in return".

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

orban trumpets harsh hungarian \workfare\ scheme orban trumpets harsh hungarian \workfare\ scheme

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

orban trumpets harsh hungarian \workfare\ scheme orban trumpets harsh hungarian \workfare\ scheme

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today Air China suspends flights to North Korea

GMT 10:39 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Air China suspends flights to North Korea
Arab Today, arab today Sophian Yussef reveals suitable decoration

GMT 02:56 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Sophian Yussef reveals suitable decoration
Arab Today, arab today Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

GMT 06:23 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Syria opposition meets in Riyadh
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian journalist happy of her career

GMT 17:37 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Jordanian journalist happy of her career
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Australian academic's book pulled

GMT 15:20 2017 Monday ,13 November

Australian academic's book pulled
Arab Today, arab today Srebrenica women cry tears of joy

GMT 08:03 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Srebrenica women cry tears of joy
Arab Today, arab today Delhi half-marathon to go ahead

GMT 03:51 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Delhi half-marathon to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today 'Robo-taxis' hold promise, and perils

GMT 08:07 2017 Thursday ,23 November

'Robo-taxis' hold promise, and perils
Arab Today, arab today Honda recalls 800,000 minivans

GMT 11:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 November

Honda recalls 800,000 minivans
Arab Today, arab today Abeer Sabry reveals reason of “The Flood” success

GMT 08:03 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

Abeer Sabry reveals reason of “The Flood” success
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 07:56 2017 Monday ,20 November

Singer Jahda Wahba has unlimited ambitions

GMT 02:14 2017 Saturday ,18 November

May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 10:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 November

Cigar-shaped asteroid came

GMT 09:45 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

Visit Jamaica for more than just sun

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday