In 2022, Hungary will spend more than a thousand billion forints on its army. The money goes mainly to force development, but a military career is not quite popular. The focus will be on the job creation program, which could offer positions to thousands of people.
Although the government has made significant improvements to the army in recent years, there are still problematic areas:
Perhaps the most significant problem is staffing. Although the government has made significant salary increases with the introduction of the career model, soldiers still do not earn very well. The minimum net salary of a contract soldier who has served for one year is HUF 170,000, according to the summary of HRportal.
It is very difficult to get an accurate picture of military salaries, as it can vary from category to category, depending on the length of service, ranks, various additional bonuses, and more. However, the recruitment side of the Armed Forces reveals that a newly admitted civilian can receive a net salary of approximately HUF 145,329.
The 3,000-strong military recruitment could affect 1 per cent or an even smaller percentage of the unemployed — yet it seems to be publicised by the government almost as much as the wage subsidy package in the economic defence action plan, which could affect around 100,000 people.
In addition, in recent years, the government has imposed restrictions on the executive staff of the army, according to Napi.hu. In April, for example, it was decided that overtime ordered during the emergency state would not be included in the soldiers’ annual overtime.
In 2022, the Hungarian state’s defense budget will exceed one thousand billion forints, bringing it close to 1.8 per cent of the GDP. Hungary’s commitment to NATO is to spend 2 per cent of its GDP on its army. This has never been the case so far, though it is a rarity among other NATO members as well.
The detailed number of the members of the Armed Forces must be included in a parliamentary resolution. There is no data on the distribution of the deficit between the staff categories: according to Gyula Kovács, about 1,000 officers, 2,000 non-commissioned officers, and approximately 4-5,000 contract staff are missing.
The force has been essentially “incomplete” since the suspension of conscription in 2004.
The root of the problem is the severe distortion of the human structure of the army – that is, the imbalance in the ratio of commanders to commanded persons. Simply put:
The 14,000-strong higher-power military is contrasted with the number of 7-8,000 executives, and the administration takes most of the resources away from the executive staff,explained Gyula Kovács, former deputy commander.
The direction of the trend does not change. The proportion of commanding bodies and their background institutions in the forces of NATO countries typically do not exceed 20-25 per cent of the total number. For us, this rate is 49.8 per cent. It is feared that the organisation’s capabilities will not grow from the billions, only its waste will increase.