June 20th, 2012
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2013 budget bill raises funding for public work programs

Hungary’s 2013 budget bill allocates HUF 153.8bn for the Start public work programme, 16pc more than this year’s allocation, the bill, published on Parliament’s website, shows.

The allocation for the programme in this year’s budget is HUF 132bn, up from HUF 64bn budgeted for such programmes in 2011.

The 2013 allocation will make it possible to employ about 250,000 people in the schemes, the justification of the bill said.

The bill earmarks HUF 59bn for various types of support for jobseekers in 2013, up HUF 2bn from this year’s allocation, which was nearly half used by the end of April. It projected monthly unemployment benefits of HUF 77,000 per person will be paid out on average to about 60,000 people.

The allocations are detailed in the budget of the National Employment Fund, a “separate state fund”, which has a total expenditure target of HUF 346.2bn for 2013, up HUF 38.6bn from the target this year.

Except for a sligh rise at non-profit institutions, public work schemes were the only segment seeing rising employment in the first four months of 2012, according to data published on Tuesday.

In April, there were 102,100 people employed in public work schemes in April, 60.8pc more than a year earlier. The data show 83,400 of them were employed full-time, earning on average gross HUF 73,667 a month.

A restructuring of the former public work programmes into the Start programme this year has resulted in a shift towards full-time employment. However, the average gross wage earned by the full-time workers on the scheme fell 9.8pc in April from a year earlier.

A government decree published at the end of 2011 set the minimum wage to be paid unqualified full-time workers in public work schemes at HUF 71,800 a month from January. The corresponding minimum wage is HUF 93,000 a month.

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