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Government announces plans to streamline bureaucracy

January 26th, 2016

One left-wing and one conservative columnist welcome plans to cut red tape by restructuring and closing down public offices. They fear, however, that the government’s new plan may not quite fulfil the hopes invested in it.

János Lázár, the Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office has announced plans to reorganize dozens of different public organizations. Some, which employ a total of 50,000 people, will be shut down completely, while others are to be integrated into different ministries in order to reduce state bureaucracy.

In Népszava, Péter Somfai acknowledges the need to reduce the size of the public sector. According to the OECD, he writes, the Hungarian public sector is oversized. But Somfai fears that the government has not prepared an action plan to help the tens of thousands of public employees who will lose their jobs. He also wonders whether the increasingly centralized public administration will continue to operate smoothly after such a large scale dismissal.

It cannot be taken for granted that restructuring will help reduce red tape, Miklós Ugró comments in Magyar Nemzet. In order to make state administration more effective, more responsible public officers would be needed ,who are capable of making decisions rather than passing all issues to their superiors, the conservative pundit thinks. Ugró is also somewhat sceptical whether large scale restructuring will actually reduce public spending, as the dismissed employees will be offered decent severance payments.

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