Budapest, February 8 (MTI) – Reducing Hungary’s bureaucracy is crucial in efforts to improve the country’s competitiveness, János Lázár, the head of the government office, told public news television M1 on Monday.

Out of the 4.3 million people working in Hungary, one million are employed in the public sector, Lázár said. He added that while the public sector accounted for some 20 percent of all jobs in Hungary, that ratio was 13 percent in Slovakia, and 10 percent in Austria or Germany. He insisted that Hungary’s high ratio of public employees has worked against “excellent economic programmes” and the country has failed to become more competitive.

The goal is to make state administration simple and transparent, based on ministries and local government offices, with fast, efficient and cheap operations, Lázár insisted. He added that a governmental team was evaluating government agencies and their staffing requirements.

Lázár also said that the funds saved through layoffs will be spent on raising the salaries of those retained by 50 percent. He argued that at a time of low unemployment people could “give up” their jobs in the public sector and find employment on the labour market. He pledged government assistance to those leaving, such as programmes for those voluntarily quitting their jobs or incentives to employers providing jobs for former public staff.

In another interview to public Kossuth Radio , Lázár said that it was not enough to cut the number of bureaucrats, it was also necessary to make laws simpler and cut the cost of administration. He mentioned construction and taxation as areas where regulations are too complex, and said that the legal environment should be shaped so that easier access to European Union funds is provided, too.

Photo: MTI


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