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The opposition Socialists are demanding the government take action to call off the bailiffs and to stop foreclosures. Socialist MP László Szakács told an online media conference that the government had taken action to suspend debt collection only when it came to newly launched procedures. He said 4,000-6,000 people were losing their jobs every day in Hungary, and he called on the government to do everything possible to ensure that households stay above water. Measures taken so far are insufficient, he insisted, adding that a moratorium on evictions had already been in place, so new measures were needed to ensure households maintain their solvency.
Meanwhile, LMP also called for urgent help in order to curb a “serious social crisis” unfolding due to the state of emergency. The party’s co-leader, Erzsébet Schmuck, told a separate online media conference that many households were already experiencing hunger. She said it was “outrageous” that the government still insisted on a work-based economy rather than welfare. “No one wants a welfare-based society, but if people are in trouble … they must be helped,” she said, adding that serious epidemiological consequences and hunger could result if there’s inaction. LMP wants a minimum supplement of 60% of the full wage to be paid to those who still have a job at companies whose income has fallen significantly, she said. Also, the period of payment of unemployment benefits should be extended to 9 months while being increased to an amount that matches the minimum wage, she said. The long-term jobless and casual labourers should receive benefits paid for using resources that otherwise finance “needless and expensive investments” such as the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power station and the Budapest-Belgrade railway development, Schmuck said. LMP, she added, has submitted a bill on establishing a national solidarity fund into which the wealthy would have to pay.