Preparations to rebuild the economy, protect jobs and minimise losses must start early, even during the current state of emergency, Tamás Schanda, state secretary of the innovation and technology ministry, told an online press conference. Coronavirus prevention and crisis management impacts the budgets of all ministries, but government agencies, the political parties, municipalities “and even banks” must contribute to the common burden, the state secretary said. “Hungary learnt over the past 10 years that it must rely on itself, and now it is on the receiving end of political attacks from the European Union rather than help,” Schanda said. He added that the Hungarian economy’s current state was a good basis to start out from, but its reserves should be used to provide training and jobs “rather than providing benefits and free money”.
László György, the state secretary in charge of economic strategy, said the government had already taken several protective measures such as providing a wage subsidy to companies that had to cut working hours and to employees in innovation jobs, providing a one-off student loans, lifting the requirement of a foreign language certificate for undergraduates and starting retraining courses for people who have lost their jobs. He said the government is using 50 billion forints this year to support investment projects aimed at job retention and creation, adding that the government is mulling providing state guarantees and subsidised loans to companies worth a combined 2,500 billion forints. György pledged the government would maintain its tight fiscal policies, slamming “earlier advocates of austerity now demanding a distribution of huge sums”.
Sándor Bodó, state secretary for employment policy, warned that people in innovation jobs were being lured to work in other countries and urged that they should be provided wage supplements. Companies can already apply for funds, he said, adding that the measure could benefit 33,000 employees in the private sector.