Budapest (MTI) – Wages paid by state-owned companies will rise by 30 percent in several stages over the next three years, government office chief János Lázár told a government press briefing on Thursday.
At Hungarian railway company MÁV, wages will be increased by 13, 12 and 5 percent in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. Employees of the Hungarian postal service will receive a 14 percent increase in 2017, 12 percent in 2018 and 6 percent in 2019.
Around 100 thousand employees work at companies attached to the development ministry whose wages would be around or below the minimum wage. They will receive the new minimum wage, the minister said.
Schemes to boost wages that are already under way will continue in several sectors this year; among those affected will be police, teachers, cultural and health-care workers, he added.
Meanwhile, on the topic of security and immigration, Lázár insisted that Hungary was the safest country in Europe, adding that illegal migration, however, could compromise its “recently restored” public security.
Lázár said that the number of reported crime cases had been between 270,000-290,000 in 2016, down from 450,000 in 2010. He attributed that reduction to such factors as the government’s adding some 7,100 officers to the police force.
He said human resources minister Zoltán Balog briefed Wednesday’s cabinet meeting on a report concerning the bus accident near Verona in Italy which claimed the lives of 16 Hungarians returning from a school skiing trip. Consultations with teachers, school directors and parents are to be launched regarding rules for organising school trips and vehicles used for transport. Lazar said the participants were divided about the issue of new regulations.
In response to a question about the planned revamp of a large orphanage in Fót near Budapest, he said the government plans to place the children with foster parents. The government plans do not affect other tenants or residents, and the sale or business-use of the listed property was not broached, he added.
Commenting on an ongoing petition for a local referendum on Budapest to withdraw its bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024, he said everybody had the right to collect signatures and this must be respected. He condemned any attempt to verbally or physically abuse signature-collectors. He described the Olympic bid as the fight of “David and Goliaths”, stating that Budapest was competing as an underdog against Paris and Los Angeles, adding that he was not optimistic about Budapest’s chances.