Illustration - Photo: pxfuel

Socialists call on govt to tap EUR 1 billion in EU wage subsidies

The opposition Socialist Party is calling on the government to access 1 billion euros in European Union funds to complement job-protection wage subsidies, the deputy leader of the opposition party said on Wednesday.

“Families are being ruined by the coronavirus epidemic every day,” Imre Komjathi told an online press conference. Some 300,000 people have lost their jobs thanks to the government’s “slow, bungled and tight-fisted” wage subsidy measures.

He noted that Austria was planning a 13th month wage and compensation for unused official holidays using 430 million euros. Catering sector employees in Austria will also receive a 100 euro “tip”, Komjathi said.

Hungary, by contrast, is paying wage compensation of “only 50 percent”, he said, adding that the net amount would only be enough “for people to starve to death”.

He noted that the Socialists have been demanding an 80 percent wage subsidy since the start of the epidemic.

Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Spain and Italy have all used EU funding, Komjathi said, adding that the option of immediately tapping 1 billion euros was also an option for the Hungarian government.

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