Gergely Karácsony
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony – Photo: MTI / Zsolt Szigetváry

Budapest assembly sets up fund to offset energy, economic crisis

The Budapest General Assembly amended this year's budget to set up a fund to offset the fallout of the energy and economic crisis on Wednesday.

The funds will be used to fund increased costs of public lighting, utility costs of public buildings, public transport and for support to low-income citizens, as well as for paying interests.

The amendment was adopted with 18 votes in favour, 10 against and one abstention.

According to the amendment proposal’s justification, the municipal council’s expenditures on interest payments have increased by 7.4 billion forints (EUR 18.2m) this year due to inflation.

Current procurements also indicate that the city council will have to calculate with a ten-fold increase in utility prices next year.

Public lighting will also cost the city 5 billion forints more this year than what was originally pencilled in.

According to the amendment, the fund’s revenues will be financed using extra revenues from the business tax, sales, services, the tourism tax and extra interest revenues.

Meanwhile, the General Assembly also passed an energy conservation package with 26 votes in favour and 2 abstentions.

Under the package’s regulations, decorative lighting in the city will be switched off two hours earlier, which is estimated to save 792,510 kWh a year.

Also, buildings operated by the city council will have to limit air conditioning to 25 degrees Celsius in the summer and heating to 21 degrees Celsius in the winter. The rule does not apply to retirement homes or nursing homes.

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