Short answer: it is not enough to provide for a “life with dignity.” In other words, those who earn the minimum wage exist below the poverty line.
Hvg reported Policy Agenda’s findings of where the poverty line currently stands in Hungary. Policy Agenda calculated that in order for a single, active person to sustain a minimum level of dignity, one needs to earn 293 euros per month. Using the same criteria for a family of two parents and two children, 851 euros were calculated.
The minimum wage in Hungary is a net 284 euros, meaning that employees who currently work for a minimum wage exist below the poverty line.
Ambrus Kiss, director of Policy Agenda, reminded everyone that families under the poverty line generally fail to save any money for any future endeavours since they struggle to live by for a single month. Policy Agenda’s findings also contain some shocking numbers:
30% of Hungarian families were considered to live below the poverty line in 2017.
The ratio improved a little bit last year, but not significantly. When asked about these numbers, the Hungarian Ministry of Finance responded dismissively, saying that “they do not consider leftist political research to be of importance.” They pointed to the European Union’s official statistics which show a decline in poverty and an increase in wages.