2020. május 26. 12:01

Protection, Development, Knowledge: Key to Soonest Possible Rebuilding of Economy

Protection, Development, Knowledge: Key to Soonest Possible Rebuilding of Economy
The Fidesz government did not act in time to reduce the economic and social impacts of the crisis; dismissals, pay cuts and bankruptcies began, and the depth of the crisis cannot be assessed for the time being.

Therefore, there is a need for a package of measures to rebuild the economy and create opportunities that:

  • prevents radical reductions in income and consumption in the short term and ensures people’s everyday livelihoods,
  • creates new jobs through activities that contribute to making Hungary green, sustainable and equitable, and
  • gives everyone the knowledge, opportunity and skills to organize a successful life, do meaningful, value-creating work and lead a productive life.

To this end, the Hungarian Socialist Party demands the introduction of the following measures:

  1. Start patching up the torn social network immediately! In a time of the unfolding crisis, all those affected by the crisis must receive immediate help. The rules of the Hungarian "Kurzarbeit" need to be simplified and state subsidies need to be increased. The duration of the job search allowance must be extended to 9 months and its amount must be net HUF 100,000 minimum. The social benefits that Fidesz has not increased by a single forint in the past 10 years (family allowance, childcare and  maternity allowance) must be doubled, and greater state aid must be provided for raising children and home care. There is a need for a fair pension increase stable in value and for reducing unjustified disparities within the society of retirees. We need to start the catching up of low pensions, on the one hand by radically raising the minimum pension and on the other hand by introducing a fair 53rd week’s pension. MSZP proposes that of the HUF 77 billion available for the 53rd week's pension, those entitled should receive the same amount, as this way two out of three retirees would be better off as compared to the government's plans, and it present no extra costs to the state budget.
  2.  A targeted energy efficiency increase and green development program for homes must be launched. In addition to immediate measures for survival, there is a need for an economic reconstruction program that not only provides temporary support, but also creates long-term value for all Hungarians. Under the current technological conditions, with the appropriate modifications the energy demand of Hungary's housing stock can be reduced by 40%, which would have a beneficial effect on energy security, energy import exposure, air pollution and health. Therefore, with the involvement of local governments, we propose a HUF 750 billion energy efficiency and green development program for homes, supported by non-refundable subsidies and interest-free state loans, which would create jobs, increase housing values, reduce the difficulties of the construction industry and restructure tendencies from large, one-off and otherwise unsustainable, monumental constructions in the direction of smaller-scale but nationwide constructions. We expect that the taxpayers' money intended for recovery do not go to the hotel and spa development projects of the Prime Minister's friends and relatives, but to the renovation of family houses and condominiums in terms of energy efficiency.
  3. The healthcare system must be reorganized. We want everyone throughout Hungary to have access to high-quality GP care, screening, diagnostics, information and prevention, specialist care and hospital services, regardless of their social or financial situation. To this end, the budget for healthcare must be increased by at least HUF 700 billion so that the growing and expanding treatment options become accessible for all, and a fair salary must be ensured for doctors and nurses so that there is help when people fall ill. Healthcare is an area of ​​strategic importance, so an independent organization and a competent minister are needed. A new, unified National Public Health and Medical Officer Service needs to be set up, a new drug subsidy regime needs to be developed, and patient management needs to be streamlined.
  4. Everyone should be given the opportunity to acquire the applicable knowledge necessary for 21st century success, regardless of financial differences. Whoever has access to high-quality knowledge has significantly better chances at keeping their job, getting by and prospering. We want progress to depend on talent and diligence, rather than inherited wealth disparities. Care must be taken to ensure that a talented but poor child who does not have a computer or a tablet is not disadvantaged. The experience gained during the epidemic needs to be integrated into the world of education in order to further develop education systems for applicable and adaptable knowledge.

MSZP – Hungarian Socialist Party
More information: Bertalan Tóth, MSZP President, group leader

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