Hungary govt outlines reforms to support employment, economic growth.

By bne IntelliNews March 26, 2012
The Hungarian government has set an ambitious goal to raise employment and economic growth in order to turn the country into a regional economic hub, MTI news agency reported, citing a governments plan published last week. The plan outlines a set of measures aimed at supporting a sustainable economic development. The measures include consolidation of public finances, improvement of business environment, reforming the labour market and the pension system and modification of the tax policy, among others. An important part of the program is the so-called Szell Kalman Plan, introduced in January 2011 with the aim of creating a million new tax-paying jobs within a period of 10 years. Priority areas for development include the health and transport industries, the green economy, the development of a new housing programme and the business environment as well as supporting innovation and employment. The government also confirmed specific targets to be achieved under the Europe 2020 strategy. The employment rate of the 20-64 age group is to be raised to 75% by 2020. The ratio of R&D spending to GDP is set to reach 1.8%. The authorities plan to increase the share of Hungarians with higher education in the 30-34 age group to 30.3%, while at the same time, the ratio of those with no more than basic education will be reduced to 10% in the 18-24 age group. The number of Hungarians living under the poverty line will be reduced by some 450,000 by 2020. Finally, the share of renewable energy use in total will be increased to 14.6%, which will enable reaching energy savings of 10%.

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