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DK calls for parliamentary committee hearing over high inflation

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has proposed summoning parliament's budget committee to hear the finance minister concerning the latest inflation figures that were "higher than the worst expectations".

DK’s Laszlo Varju, the head of the committee, told an online press conference on Tuesday that the October figure of 6.5 percent was at a 9 year high and a testament to the “total failure” of the government’s economic policies.

DK demands “immediate and effective” remedial measures, Varju said. “PM Viktor Orban and his government bear chief responsibility” for the current situation in which “one euro costs 360 forints and a litre of petrol 500”, and earners “are in the red” by the middle of the month, he added.

In response, the ruling Fidesz party issued a statement saying that Ferenc Gyurcsany, the former Socialist prime minister, presided over high inflation and high household utility bills and taxes, and took away the 13th month pension.

Fidesz noted that inflation is rampant in Europe on the back of the pandemic and rising energy prices.

It said the government had introduced a slew of measures to protect wages, pensions and livelihoods in the country, including pension hikes linked to inflation and a one-off payment of 80,000 forints to the elderly. Meanwhile, wages in the public sector are increasing and businesses are benefitting from tax cuts, the statement added.

Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said on Facebook that DK was pretending to be “a saviour” of the fight against inflation at a time when inflation is record high throughout Europe. Yet, during the last few years of DK being in government, inflation was up at 9 percent and “they were doing nothing other than increasing utility fees, introducing austerity measures, scrapping the 13th month pension, increasing debt and laying off workers,”.

“DK should finally come to realise that instead of austerity and empty words, a crisis can best be managed through tax cuts and support,” he added.

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