picture of poor house

The epidemic has further worsened the situation of the poor in Hungary, who now number 1.75 million. In addition, older women are slightly worse off than they were 15 years ago, says Népszava.

According to data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH), last year 1,752,000 people, or 18.2% of the population, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Hungary, but only 93,000 of them were officially living in extreme poverty. At the same time, the situation of Hungarian women over the age of 65 has not only not improved, but has even deteriorated slightly, from 19% in 2010 to 19.1% by 2020.

A study by TÁRKI Social Research Institute, published in the summer, confirmed that three-quarters of Hungarians live below the EU poverty line, and that this situation has not improved in a decade and a half.

In the EU as a whole, 40% live under the poverty level determined in each country. For Hungary, this amounted to 116,158 Ft. (US $356), which means that those who lived on less than this monthly income are considered poor.

A KSH study published at the beginning of November claims that the pandemic has made the situation worse. The “Living Standards of Households” states that last year “the proportion of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion increased slightly as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic.”

Népszava recalls the National Cooperation Program adopted by Fidesz in May 2010, shortly after the party won the Parliamentary elections. In the program, one can read that, “Today, South American-type social disparities have developed (…) nearly two million people are living on the brink of misery, living overnight on their income (…) Further backwardness must be prevented. No family can live on the street.”

However, neither then nor now has any politician from the governing parties stated what should be changed, beyond stereotypes of “work and not aid,” “net and not fish,” and so on. According to the news source, the numbers show that there have been some positive changes in the data on poverty due to the global economic recovery of recent years, but the overall picture is still devastating.

[Népszava]

By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.