Cost of government administration nearly doubled in last eight years

May 31, 2017

Despite Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár’s radical bureaucracy-reduction campaign, the number of public administration workers will have more than doubled next year compared to 2010, reports.

When Fidesz retook power in 2010, some 237,900 people worked at government ministries and various background institutions. That number reached 535,200 this year and will increase by an additional 70,000 people next year based on the government’s 2018 budget.

However, the jump in administrators is mainly caused by the total nationalization of the public education and health-care systems. The centralization of these key sectors did not result in increased efficiency and competitiveness as promised, but further eroded the quality of service. Even if workers in these two nationalized sectors are not taken into account, the administration still employs 90,000 more people compared to the 2010 numbers.

It is remarkable that while institutions independent from the government such as  the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), the Central Statistical Office (KSH) and the Ombudsman’s Office had to apply a strict staff management policy and saw their staff decreasing over the years, all but one of the government ministries topped up their numbers since 2010.

With such major growth, administration also became more expensive. In 2010 the government spent HUF 1.32 trillion (USD 4.8 billion) on maintaining the administration, while according to the 2018 budget, this cost will reach HUF 2.24 trillion (USD 8.1 billion) by next year. The HUF 900 billion difference amply exceeds the 14.7 percent inflation rate over eight years.