László Domokos, the head of the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) called for government incentives to boost household savings in an interview published in Monday’s issue of business daily Világgazdaság.
Domokos said that in wage negotiations of the coming years, the government should make a proposal that significant wage growth should only take place if employers transfer a certain amount of the wages not directly to employees but to the employee’s savings account. The opening of such accounts cannot be made compulsory but the scheme could encourage through state incentives such as offering inflation-linked government securities on the shorter run too and the abolition of the current 15% tax on interest income, Domokos said. Calculations based on recent wage growth and consumption statistics and the inflation forecast show there must be a 3 to 3.5% savings ratio in the system, which “the state should tie down instead of (leaving it in) cash”, he said.
Economists agree, Domokos said, that households should have savings worth at least three months’ income in order to prepare for unexpected situations. “This would prepare society so that in the event of a possible slowdown families would be able to better adapt,” he said.