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DK calls for utility fee subsidies to SMEs in all sectors

The opposition Democratic Coalition is calling for utility fee subsidies to be made available to all small and medium-sized enterprises regardless of which sector they operate in, party lawmaker and shadow economy minister Ferenc David said on Saturday.

He told an online press conference that utility subsidies for SMEs should be offered for six months instead of the current three.

In total, the measures would represent 400 billion forints (EUR 950m) in support to SMEs instead of the current 75-80 billion forints, he said.

He called for restrictions on utility fee hikes, adding that nobody should be expected to pay more than three times the previous utility fees. Electricity and gas suppliers must be prohibited from modifying service contracts unilaterally, he added.

He also called for supporting SMEs in the transition to renewable energy.

Ruling Fidesz said in reaction that the “pro-sanctions left” would introduce “brutal utility bill hikes” and bring about “mass unemployment”.

The party said in a statement that families and businesses in other European countries were forced to pay energy prices several times those in Hungary due to the “sanctions supported by the left”.

Thanks to the government’s scheme to cap utility bills, gas prices are the lowest and electricity prices the second lowest in Hungary, Fidesz said, adding that a utility bill support scheme has been launched to help businesses preserve jobs.

The left, however, “would bring about brutal utility price increases and mass unemployment” in the country because they support “Brussels’s sanctions that are bleeding Europe dry”, the party said. They urged the public to fill out the National Consultation survey on sanctions.

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