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Dec 06, 2016

Hungary devotes 4.7 percent of GDP to supporting families

An extra 200 billion HUF will be pumped into the healthcare system next year compared to this year

Hungary devotes 4.7 percent of its gross domestic product to family support schemes and thereby tops the list in Europe, it has been revealed.

Zoltán Balog, minister of human capacities, told a parliamentary committee hearing that various family benefits over the past six years have added up to 1.1 million HUF per family on average.

The government has kept to a promise made in 2010 that improvements would be made to the country’s social conditions based on the possibilities allowed by the extent of economic growth. “We cannot offer a good solution by taking up loans because that leads to the country’s indebtedness,” he said.

The minister said that several hundreds of billions of forints had been spent on various infrastructure developments in the sphere of social and healthcare, and this has been coupled with wage hikes in the public sector.

Job subsidies have doubled from 24 percent of a wage in 2010 to what will be 52 percent next year, he said.

The minister said that an extra 200 billion HUF would be pumped into the healthcare system next year compared with the current one. Balog said he hoped that spending in the sector would reach the average of the Visegrad Group of countries by 2018-2019, which would mean a 40 percent increase in resources over six years.

Balog said major advances were needed to make up for a shortage of manpower in the healthcare sector, especially in primary care. More funding will be channelled towards employees in primary care and for general practices, he said.