Jakab: Look how someone who never worked in the competitive sector for a minute is now telling you about losing your job
We are not attacking the government, we are trying to lay constructive propositions on the table, said Jobbik’s president Péter Jakab on Tuesday on ATV’s Straight Talk show, which focused on the defence against the coronavirus. As usual, the show was broadcast live but the editors are going to connect guests via Skype in the future to minimize coronavirus risks. This time however, Péter Jakab still travelled to the studio in person, which allowed him to talk with bus drivers on his way there. The public transport employees complained that their company could not provide the means for disinfection in the buses. It shouldn’t be such a big problem to make sure that public transport vehicles are disinfected! – the party president commented on the issue that Alfahir also reported a few days before. He criticized the government for taking far too long to react to their propositions.
Jobbik had to bang on the table for several days for the schools to be closed, which Viktor Orbán finally agreed to on Friday. No matter how much we stressed the need to seal the borders for health reasons, it took until Monday for the PM to finally adopt this measure, Mr Jakab explained, noting that precious days were passing by and he didn’t want to wait several days again for the state to help workers. There are simply just not enough days left, he asserted. According to the opposition party’s president, one of the biggest problems is that one third of the Hungarian society doesn’t have enough savings to sustain them for even a month without a job.
However, people are going to lose their jobs, Mr Jakab warned, if the PM doesn’t change his attitude to this problem. In his Monday speech in Parliament, the PM shrugged off the potential lay-off risks, saying that employers and employees should discuss this issue and come to some agreement among themselves. Such a statement can only come from a person who has never worked in the competitive sector in his life – Mr Jakab suggested. He also criticized the Hungarian government for giving a HUF 30 billion loan to Moldova and allocating HUF 7 billion for church renovations when the healthcare sector is so underfunded. The PM did this despite having an “unlimited” budget to spend on coronavirus containment, so he is authorized to allocate as much funding for health measures as he wanted, which Jobbik fundamentally agrees with.
On the other hand, Jobbik proposes to use some of this money to set up a labour protection fund so that the state could guarantee workers’ livelihood by essentially making up for their losses suffered due to the disappearing jobs in the SME sector. The party president emphasized that their proposals already had countless international precedents. For example, Italy pays a bonus equivalent to HUF 200 thousand to parents staying home with their children and exempts near-bankrupt enterprises from paying certain taxes. Spain, Romania and Bulgaria have also taken serious steps, including giving a significant payrise to healthcare workers, cutting corporate taxes or granting bonuses to companies not laying off any employees now. Jobbik believes that Hungarian National Bank President György Matolcsy’s idea is risky. Mr Matolcsy suggested that each family should take twice as much loan as they normally would. In a crisis situation, “when we don’t even know what tomorrow brings”, such a calculation could have dire consequences, Mr Jakab warned. Jobbik suggests to minimize the people’s financial difficulties by granting a loan repayment and bill payment moratorium for those who got in the most difficult situation due to the chaos caused by the virus. He mentioned the example of Serbia, where the government had just granted a 90-day grace period for loan repayment, both for private citizens and for companies.
“Our government should finally consider professionals as partners rather than enemies!” Jobbik’s politician suggested in the studio, noting that the presenters of professional proposals may have gotten used to being called a Soros lackey in the past few years but it’s a serious mistake if the government treats the suggestions of the Hungarian Medical Chamber as political attacks. According to Mr Jakab, if healthcare professionals recommend home detention measures, the government should take it into consideration. The president also talked about Jobbik’s proposal to regulate the prices of hand disinfectants and face masks, which could allow the population to slow down the coronavirus epidemic. As he put it, the price of a surgical mask just can’t rise from HUF 50 to HUF 800; the best idea would be to hand it out for free but at least offer it at a normal price.
Alfahír.hu - Jobbik.com