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Socialists call for firewood for people in need ‘instead of fireworks’

Instead of fireworks on the August 20th national holiday, people affected by the "cost-of-living crisis" should be offered firewood, the opposition Socialist Party leader said on Tuesday.

The crisis, Lajos Korozs said, had an economic as well as a social dimension.

The economy, he told an online press briefing, had been in recession for a year, with GDP falling every month, while industrial output had fallen by 7 percent. Construction investments were down by 12 percent and real wages had dropped by at least 20 percent in the first six months of the year, he added.

Consumption and retail trade had shrunk owing to inflation and growing prices, so the government’s “magic weapon” of VAT revenue had also failed, he said.

Korozs said Prime Minister Viktor Orban was attempting to solve problems by introducing austerity measures, with drastic cuts to state spending, a suspension of state investments and big cuts to social spending, health care and education budgets.

He called for help to be given to people most in need, including public workers, those earning a minimum wage, single parents and pensioners.

The Socialist politician called for family benefits to be doubled at the start of the school year and an extra 3 percent pension increase made in August, retroactive to January. Further, he said firewood should be offered to people in need to help them prepare for winter.

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