An entire generation of young Hungarians want to study and work abroad and many of them do not intend to return home, András Nemény, the party’s deputy leader, told a press conference. He said this was “hardly a surprise”, arguing that the minimum wage is 40-50 percent higher in western Europe and even in Poland and the Czech Republic than in Hungary.
Nemény said the Socialist Party had already once implemented a 50 percent wage increase when it was in government, adding that the party intends to repeat this measure if it comes to power again.
He warned that the government’s failure to raise wages would freeze the economy and ensure that Hungarians working abroad will stay there.
Ruling Fidesz responded to Nemeny’s remarks saying that the Socialist Party “has no credibility whatsoever” regarding the question of wage increases. Among OECD member states, Hungary registered the highest minimum wage increase between 2010 and 2015, the party’s parliamentary group said in a statement. They said that during their time in government, the Socialists had doubled the unemployment rate, made drastic wage cuts in the public sector and failed to raise real wages. By the time the Socialist Party’s two terms were up, more than half a million people were living on welfare, Fidesz said, adding that the current government has raised the minimum wage every year since 2010.