Budapest (MTI) – The rate of emigration from Hungary can only be reduced by increasing minimum wages sustainably in the long term, the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said on Friday.
DK has prepared a programme to annually increase the minimum wage at least until it reaches the living wage, party spokesman Zsolt Greczy told MTI after holding a press conference on the issue. Taxes that currently burden the minimum wage need to be reduced from their current record-high level, he added.
Greczy cited recent statistics showing that the number of Hungarians leaving to work abroad has been on the rise in recent years.
It is a common fact that the rise in minimum wages will be followed by higher wages generally in the market, so everybody would make more money, he said.
Ruling Fidesz said in response said that it is immigration rather than emigration that, together with migrant quotas, endangers Europe’s security and culture, the livelihood of its population, and the free movement of persons and labour.
The Hungarians who go to another EU member state to work are not emigrants but EU citizens who exercise their right to choose their workplace and residence, the party said in a statement.
Since Fidesz came to power in 2010, taxes have been cut and wages increased each year. The minimum wage opposition DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsany sought to scrap a year ago also increased annually, Fidesz said.