Govt to consult nation on jobs – Orban

Budapest, May 25 (MTI) – The government will launch another national consultation, this time to gauge public opinion on job creation, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio on Friday.

Questions will include ones about a fair distribution of burdens, Orban told MR-1 Kossuth, referring to the special crisis taxes and the banking tax introduced in 2010.


“Three years have passed, and we have to decide whether these should be considered temporary crisis measures or whether Hungarians want them to remain permanently in the system of sharing public burdens. I will opt for the latter when filling in the form,” Orban said.


The questionnaires are planned to be sent to eight million Hungarian citizens from Tuesday, Orban said. This will be the fourth such initiative, after public consultations about the new constitution, social issues and pensioners, he added.


Commenting on data protection issues raised in connection with past consultations, Orban said he did not think these had raised serious concerns. Anyone who does not want to return the form or receive another one can decide accordingly, he added.


The Socialist party spokesman told MTI in a statement that after two years in power, Fidesz should not be consulting the public but taking action to create jobs.


Zsolt Torok said “while the government spends millions on consultations … people are experiencing more austerity, tax hikes and layoffs.”


He said that instead of fulfilling its promise to create one million new jobs, the Fidesz government had even eliminated some.


Hungary’s jobless rate was 11.7 percent in January-March, up from 10.6 percent in the same period a year earlier, the latest Central Statistical Office (KSH) data show.