New statistics regime could reduce official poverty level

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The Central Statistical Office (KSH) is proposing a new model to evaluate the population’s economic standing that would mean fewer Hungarians would be considered as living under the poverty level, according to a report published today by online news portal vg.hu.

The new model could potentially cut the percentage of Hungarians living in poverty by half, as of next year, according to the report. That amounts to as much as two million fewer individuals in the category, down from the current 3.6-3.8 million, vg.hu reported. Currently, 35% of Hungarians do not receive a living wage. This is defined by the KSH, not as poverty, but as being unable to cover unexpected expenses, being unable to take a vacation at least once a year, or having concerns regarding loan repayments.

The Hungarian living wage for a typical four-person family is currently set by the KSH at a minimum of HUF 253,000. Under the new system that amount could be reduced to HUF 160,000-180,000, vg.hu added.

The KSH reportedly said that this new model would better reflect how many Hungarians do in fact receive less than a living wage, according to vg.hu.

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