Hungary has woken up, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in parliament on Monday, presenting the results of the government's social consultation, a survey sent to every household in the country.
Orban said that the 1.4 million questionnaires completed and sent back to the government revealed that Hungarians wanted to build their future through labour, rather than expecting "beers for free" or undeserved benefits.
Hungarians have woken from "a long slumber of the tempting illusion of welfare without work, which then ended up in the nightmare of a total collapse," the prime minister said. The government's survey involved asking people their opinion about pensions, job creation, and education. Talking about the survey results in detail, Orban said that the question about whether to re-introduce foreign currency-based loans was one that had divided respondents the most.
According to the prime minister, 91 percent of all respondents agreed with the introduction of protective labour measures for employees in their last years before retirement, and that the state should provide jobs rather than benefits for the unemployed. Eighty-nine percent said that the education system should be tailored to match the requirements of the labour market. Eighty percent of the respondents said that people raising children should have higher pensions, especially those that have also worked the required number of years besides being a parent, Orban said. Most respondents also supported the idea that benefits should be a compound of a cash payment and basic necessities, he added.
Referring to another question, Orban said that 86 percent of the respondents supported putting controls over the profits of public utility providers, while 94 percent would prevent pharmaceutical companies from "forcing medicines onto the people at exorbitant prices".
Two-thirds of respondents support the proposal that the state should come to the assistance of troubled borrowers, Orban said.