Friss hírek

2016.09.15. 05:01

Varga suggests selective use of foreign labour to manage workforce shortage

fenyvesi

Hungary may have to tap labour resources of countries with "similar cultural and historical traditions" to deal with shortages of workers in some sectors of the domestic economy, National Economy Minister said in an interview published in the latest issue of weekly Heti Valasz.

Budapest-MTI/ECONEWS. Mr Varga noted steps the government has taken to improve and expand the country's vocational training system, but added that participants in these programmes would only enter the labour force after several years. "It would be a shame to miss out on some big investment for this reason," he said. "In sectors where there is a shortage of workers, I am convinced we should temporarily resolve employment problems with labour from the European Union...or third countries," he added. He acknowledged that there is "greater fear" of foreigners "taking jobs" in Hungary than in neighbouring countries and stressed that foreign nationals would be allowed to work only in sectors where positions cannot be filled from the local labour pool. These foreign workers could come "only from such countries that have similar cultural and historical traditions to ours", he added. He said that neighbouring countries are "far more accepting of the use of Ukrainian labour" than Hungary, noting that 200,000-220,000 Ukrainians work in the Czech Republic and almost 2m in Poland. "According to estimates, 30,000-40,000 ethnic Hungarians from Ukraine commute to work in Hungary, but there are no separate statistics on this, because most of them have taken Hungarian citizenship," he added. Asked whether a reduction in payroll taxes could attract Hungarians working abroad back home, Mr Varga conceded that high payroll taxes are a "competitive disadvantage" but added that "thanks to these high payroll taxes, the health insurance and pension funds are balanced". "Let's be honest: we can't save on payroll taxes if the competition is taking the cook from Vas County [W Hungary> to Burgenland [E Austria> because the wages are 33pc-50pc higher. This has to be managed in part with wage increases," he said. "This trend is already apparent. In the coming year or more, wage pressure will be significant in the Hungarian economy," he added.

 

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