Commentators both on Left and Right condemn Dávid Janiczak, the Jobbik mayor of the northeastern town of Ózd, for his plans to install surveillance cameras including hidden camera spy glasses to monitor workers on the government work programme.
Népszabadság reported that Janiczak has purchased the surveillance equipment for ten million Forints. Attila Péterfalvi, President of the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information said that the planned monitoring of public workers would be in clear violation of data protection laws. According to Janiczak, surveillance is intended to boost the efficiency of communal work projects rather than to monitor those employed on them, and thus is in line with privacy rules, he argues.
In Magyar Nemzet, Zsuzsanna Körmendy likens Mayor Janiczak’s surveillance plan to an Orwellian totalitarian nightmare. The conservative columnist believes it is not only absolutely inhumane to monitor those employed in work-for-welfare schemes, but it is also counterproductive – the stigmatization and humiliation of public workers is unlikely to raise their work ethic.
If work-for-welfare had tangible benefits, no one could propose the surveillance of communal workers, Judit Doros writes in Népszabadság. The left-wing commentator believes that there is little need for the kind of work which can be judged, not be it’s results, but by the efforts put into it by employers. All this suggests that work-for-welfare schemes focus on otherwise unnecessary tasks and serve only as a means to discipline the unemployed, Doros contends.