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Finance Ministry official: Households will continue benefiting from energy bill subsidies

The government has decided to amend the budget in light of changing circumstances owing to the war in Ukraine with a view to extending protections for families, pensioners and the economy, Andras Tallai, the parliamentary state secretary of the finance ministry, said in a statement on Sunday.

The amount set aside for ensuring subsidised household energy bills will be four times as much as originally slated, and this will ensure that families continue to receive reduced bills up to average consumption, the statement said.

Given the poor global economic environment, the government has increased central reserves from 170 billion forints (EUR 446.9m) originally planned, to 255 billion, Tallai said.

In Friday’s parliamentary vote, the left wing again withheld its support for the budget, thereby voting against household energy subsidies as well as protections for families, workers and pensioners, he said.

The government, meanwhile, is targeting an even greater reduction in the public debt, from 72.9 percent of GDP to below 70 percent by year-end, he said.

At the same time, funding for family benefits will remain in place and even expanded, with a new tax exemption for mothers who have children before the age of 30, he said.

With a view to maintaining full employment, job protection schemes will continue, and taxes on labour will not increase, he said. There are almost a record 4.7 million people in work, according to fresh statistical office data, Tallai added.

The government is sticking to its deal with pensioners to preserve the real value of pensions. Since 2010, pensions have increased almost two-fold, while their real value has grown by roughly 20 percent, he said, also noting inflation-linked pension increases and the restoration of the 13th month pension under the Fidesz-led government.

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