It is inevitable that a basic income will have to be introduced in Hungary and throughout Europe, opposition Socialists-Párbeszéd prime ministerial candidate Gergely Karácsony said on Thursday.
Within ten or twenty years, a basic income will become a reality almost everywhere in Europe, Karácsony told the conference Basic income: preparing for the politics of the future.
A basic income may provide the best way to restore “painfully absent” social cohesion, but before being introduced, it should be trialled and its effects on labour market activity examined, Karácsony said.
He added that a Socialist-led government would first increase family benefits and the basic pension so as to guarantee “the level of security provided by a basic income” to people above working age and a guaranteed minimum wage benefit to people of working age.
Ruling Fidesz responded that Karácsony and the alliance he leads wanted to give free money to migrants paid for by “hardworking Hungarians”. In a statement referring to US financier George Soros, Fidesz said a government of “Soros’s people” would allow migrants to settle in Hungary while giving them “a regular income paid for by hardworking Hungarians” without requiring them to work.