MSZP leader Bertalan Tóth – Photo:

Socialists: No need to raise retail energy price

There is no need to increase the retail prices of household energy, Socialist Party co-leader Bertalan Toth said on Thursday, adding that the government had "lied all along its campaign" saying that the prices could be maintained at pre-election levels.

Commenting on the government’s announcement of new household gas and electricity prices made earlier in the day, Toth said “a dilettantish improvisation is taking place”.

According to Toth, ruling Fidesz “would collect” 90 percent more in gas prices from an average household using 2,000 cubic metres a year, while another using 2,500 cubic metres would pay nearly three times as much as before.

Toth criticised the government for “doing nothing” in its past 12 years to improve the energy efficiency of a poorly insulated housing stock, whereas “they knew that energy would not be as cheap as in the past 10 years”.

However, he insisted that the cheap electricity produced by the Paks nuclear plant would be sufficient for household consumption.

As for gas, Toth said that applying market prices for households was not justified because “gas traders and large consumers are buying gas cheaper” than the prices announced on Thursday.

The government should explain why it said earlier that Hungary’s gas-purchase agreement with Russia would guarantee the freezing of household gas prices irrespective of global market developments, Toth said, calling for the new prices to be dropped.

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