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Gov’t to cut jobless benefit period, reviews pension among concrete reform measures

The period during which Hungarians are eligible for unemployment benefits will be reduced from 270 days to 90 days, National Economy Minister György Matolcsy said after a cabinet meeting.

The government took decisions on several concrete measures to be included in Hungary's updated convergence program. The measures are part of the government structural reform program, dubbed the Széll Kálmán plan, unveiled on March 1.

All unemployment-related support will be limited to 90 days from 2012 on as the current support schemes fail to encourage returning to the labor market, the minister said.

They will eliminate the early retirements schemes for police and soldiers, he said.

A review of all disability pensioners under the pension age will be carried out, Matolcsy said. Of the country's roughly 350,000 disability pensioners, 100,000-150,000 are expected to return to the workplace, either in public work schemes or part-time positions, he added.

The government plans to adjust higher education to market needs, and will pay support only on those studying such fields, thus doubling those studying science and technology.