Report: Hungary considers 26% minimum wage hike

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The Hungarian government is planning to increase minimum wage by 26% in 2017, a year before the parliamentary elections, online news portal mfor.hu reported yesterday citing an explanation attached to an amendment proposal for next year’s budget bill.

In the justification for increased funding to the National Council of Mountain Municipalities, ruling Fidesz lawmaker Sándor Font wrote that additional funds are needed to cover the costs of “the planned 26% hike in the minimum wage”, according to mfor.hu. 

With a 26% minimum wage hike, Hungary would move from fourth lowest to halfway up the list of minimum wage rates at €449.40 per month, according to mfor. The government would also be heeding opposition calls to bring the minimum wage in line with subsistence levels, the portal added.

The move would hurt the country’s competitiveness, however, with companies looking to invest in Hungary having to take into consideration significantly higher labor costs, the portal noted.

Another option, according to mfor.hu, is for the government to offer employers the option to reward employees with cash in the place of the voucher system which is in the process of being scrapped. This rise in benefits may form part of the planned 26% hike, the report added.

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