Hungary’s State Audit Office (ÁSZ) on Friday called government policies aimed at lifting people out of poverty between 2010 and 2018 “successful”.
The state auditor, that often comes under criticism for serving Fidesz’s and the government’s interests, said the expansion of employment was a primary reason for this success, adding that preserving and creating jobs would be a vital aspect of mitigating the social and economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
In 2010, one third of the population in Hungary, or around 3 million people, lived below the poverty line, the state auditor said.
Between 2008 and 2017, this number fell by 908,000, well above the target of 450,000 included in the national strategy for 2020.
In 2011, the government, based on the poverty reduction objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, drafted the national strategy for poverty reduction.
Fully 18.9% of the population, or 1,813,000 people, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2018, a reduction of 9.4 percentage points from the 2008 figure. This is above the Europe 2020 Strategy target of a decline of 5 percentage points, ASZ said.
ÁSZ endorsed the priority given to job-retention schemes in order to avoid a rise in the proportion of people living in relative poverty. The audit office also praised the government’s policies of providing financial support for families with children as well as phasing in the 13-month pension.