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LMP calls for wage increase to match inflation in public sector

Annual inflation reaches double digits

Consumer prices in Hungary rose by an annual 10.7 percent in May, up from 9.5 percent in the previous month, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.

Food prices rose by 18.6 percent as the price of poultry climbed 34.3 percent, bread prices jumped 37.5 percent and dairy product prices increased 30.3 percent.

Prices in the category of goods that includes vehicle fuel rose by 10.5 percent with vehicle fuel prices up 10.8 percent.

Prices of spirits and tobacco products increased by 6.4 percent. Clothing prices rose by 4.0 percent, consumer durables were 11.4 percent dearer and household energy prices edged up 1.6 percent. Service prices increased by 6.8 percent.

Harmonised CPI adjusted for better comparison with other European Union member states was 10.8 percent, while core inflation, which excludes volatile fuel and food prices, was 12.2 percent.

Month on month, inflation was 1.7 percent.

LMP calls for wage increase to match inflation in public sector

The co-leader of opposition LMP called for wage increase in the public sector to match inflation on Wednesday. Mate Kanasz-Nagy told a press conference that raising the salaries of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and other government members was not enough for guaranteeing the quality of public services. The salaries of teachers, social workers, nurses and elderly care workers also need to be increased, he said.

Parliament is scheduled to hold a debate later in the day on a proposal in line with which Orban would “take care of” increasing the wages of the members of the government. Under the proposal, the rate of increase would also be decided by the prime minister, Kanasz-Nagy said. He added that Orban’s salary had increased by 233 percent in the past 12 years, while the salaries for state secretaries have gone up by 75.5 percent.

The problem is not that leaders get more money but that public sector workers again get neglected, he said.

Answering a question, he said that in addition to a one-time wage increase matching inflation, teachers’ wages should also be tied to the minimum wage. If Hungary wants to close the gap with Austria in terms of teachers’ wages by 2030, then they must increase by 100,000 forints (EUR 260) annually, he said.

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