Source: Népszava

Equal opportunities and fair livelihood

1. A publicly funded health service must be accessible to all 

The hurried measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed the inadequate management of the health service. The system suffers from severe underfunding, which has only worsened over the past ten years. Spending on health care needs to be increased by several hundred billion HUF, two-thirds of which should be spent on raising the salaries of doctors and medical staff. Health care requires an independent portfolio in the government.

 

2. Equitable livelihood for all

The economic boom of the past few years has benefited a certain group in Hungary, but elderly citizens have been neglected. Those living on the minimum pension are in a particularly difficult situation. Low pensions, and especially pensioners surviving far below the poverty line, need a raise based on realistic estimates of the subsistence minimum. Likewise, the minimum wage should reach the targeted European level.

 

3. Elimination of child poverty requires a state program

The government, through what they call a family-oriented policy, has created a tax and subsidy scheme that only benefits middle class families and children, while tens of thousands of children born in poverty are left without support. We want a comprehensive government program to curb the spread of child poverty and to alleviate a range of unfavourable geographic, educational, labour market and ethnic problems.

 

4. Fairer tax schemes and VAT reduction

More equitable VAT and income tax schemes are needed, with the focus on living conditions. The excessively high value added tax on consumer goods (27%) needs to go down to the level of the European average, while VAT on foodstuffs and housing should not exceed 5%. Parliament should discuss the introduction of a multiple-rate income tax scheme. The minimum target should be to make the minimum wage tax-exempt.

 

5. The School-leaving age must go back to 18 years

The school system should educate Hungarian youth up to 18 years of age to be able to meet the challenges of the 21st Century independently. The coronavirus pandemic has shown the opportunities of digital education, but it has also revealed the deficiencies in access to it. Children in poor families need support in purchasing digital devices. Education requires an independent portfolio in the government.

 

6. The first university degree should be free of charge

University education cannot be the privilege of the rich. The provision of free education up to the first degree will make higher education accessible to many talented young people. Our universities will be able to compete with foreign universities if we can hire the best teachers to educate the brightest Hungarian students.

 

7. We need to grow and prosper together with our Roma citizens

Segregation in communities and schools has not diminished; public education only exacerbates unequal opportunities. EU funds allocated to the inclusion of the Roma have been channelled to government clients. Constructive measures are needed to improve the situation, employability and real opportunities of the Roma. Our Roma citizens must be proportionately represented in public life.