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Socialists call for ‘households rescue package’

The opposition Socialists call for the introduction of a five-part rescue package for households, the party's co-leader said on Sunday.

Imre Komjathi told an online press conference that the proposal would enable “real and immediate help” to families in trouble. He added that the party “would not even mind” if ruling party lawmakers took the rescue package under their name, “just so that it gets introduced and help is given to Hungarians in trouble”, he added.

He said that making a living in Hungary was increasingly difficult and contrary to the “illusory figures” cited by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, GDP data showed that the country was in recession. The message that companies get makes them untrusting about the future and they increase wages under the inflation rate, he added.

Trade union sources show that average wage increase has been around 13-15 percent as against the food price inflation of around 40 percent, he said.

Independent analysts say that 19 percent of Budapest residents and 40 percent of people in the countryside survive on income which is below subsistence level, he added.

The five-point rescue package for households includes reducing VAT on basic foodstuff to zero and maintaining price caps until the tax cuts are carried out. The third proposal involves introducing a food bank card with monthly 20,000 forints (EUR 54), offered to 300,000 families most in need. The party also calls for fair pensions, another 5 percent pension increase from June, and targeted support to small retailers, he said.

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