Hungary outperforms the rest of Europe when it comes to protecting households from energy price rises, providing support equal to 30% of the average salary, while in Germany this amounts to 20%, and for Austrians it comes to 6%, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public radio. For the time being, Hungary’s budget can afford this, and hopes are high that this support can be maintained until 2023, he said. He mentioned government caps on the price of firewood and coal as well as a 200 billion support scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises. Also, there is a programme to help out factories and one to protect jobs, he added.
Meanwhile, the government “expects” to pay a pension premium again this year. In line with its 2010 promise to protect the value of pensions, “it has given back the 13th month pensions”, based on the country’s economic performance, he said. “We are continuing to increase pensions in line with inflation,” he said. When economic growth exceeds 3.5%, the government also pays a pension premium, Orbán added. “Although there is a debate about this, I think it will happen this year,” he said.
Referring to the opposition, he said “they play to a different tune”, so it would be a mistake for the government to base its policy on cooperation with them. He said they were financed “from America” and were beholden to those people funding them. On the subject of the abortion law, the prime minister said the government did not plan to change the law. “I strongly oppose any kind of changes to the abortion law,” he said, adding that he was in favour of “the current system”. Orbán said currently there were more important issues to be dealt with such as sanctions, the war and skyrocketing energy prices.