Benkő said wages will rise by 20 percent next January, followed by a five percent increase each in the subsequent three years. Benkő said the increase also required legal changes, namely the introduction of a new category of state employees called “defense employees”. The minister had already consulted the leaders of the parliamentary groups to get their support for the change.
Benkő said next year’s 20 percent pay rise will not affect the development project of the armed forces, as the budget will provide an additional HUF 1.7 billion (US$6 million) for 2019. He also said the new defense employees category will also include support staff such as technicians, IT personnel, kitchen and medical staff and the total number of employees in this category will be over 7,000.
Last month parliament also approved Benkő’s plans to increase the maximum allowed number of Hungarian troops to 37,650 from the previous 29,700. Hungary has a fully professional army and no conscription system.