The Orbán welfare reform and its impact on the Hungarian living standards

The Hungarian social policy of the early 2010s focused on unemployment. The Orbán’s workfare reform aimed at expanding the Public Work Schemes, which mostly failed at integrating their participants into the primary labour market. This was the consequence of a policy centred only on the job places creation rather than addressing quality of work and social inclusion. The Public Work Schemes rendered mandatory for people receiving welfare benefits sectorial jobs with a low marketable profile despite the level of education, creating a low and segregated profile for public workers. So that, long-term unemployment issues such as family conflicts, health problems and social exclusion arose. Thus, the Orbán’s policy increased income equality by boosting the employment rate. Yet, it did not increase employability and, by not including public workers into the primary labour market, the workfare reform also increased the poverty gap and the stigmatisation of social exclusion. (Virginia Trulli, postgraduate)

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