Providing pensioners with the “greatest possible protection and preference” in line with the economic capabilities of the country is a priority for national politics, House Speaker László Kövér told the 5th “parliament for seniors” on Thursday.
In his address, Kövér said Europe’s economies and societies were facing challenges comparable to the political regime change of 1990, adding that “pensioners will clearly remember what price the elderly had to pay for the economic and social havoc following the political changes”. He also added that political parties should cooperate in order to improve the situation of pensioners rather than consider the matter as rivalry.
“We don’t want pensioners to pay the price of the hardships facing us,”
he said. According to Kövér, the first step in a responsible national policy should be ensuring the necessary funds and listening to the needs of seniors. He added that it was “not only fundamental politically, but morally, too” because “today’s pensioners are the people that carried the country on their backs for decades”.
Seniors deserve “gratitude and appreciation”, which is expressed in their pension, which ensures peaceful years after active decades, Kövér said. He insisted that the strength of the nation lay both in young and old, with youth designing and building a future and the elderly using their experience and giving instructions to find the right track.
A respect for life is manifested in both providing protection to babies before they are born and appreciating seniors, Kövér said, adding that the motto “each Hungarian is responsible for every other Hungarian” was the cornerstone of the country’s policies. Young people have the responsibility to take care of people no longer active as well as to raise their own children who will then take care of them in their senior years.
The Hungarian government has pledged to preserve the purchasing power of pensions, Kövér said, adding that since 2010, pensions had increased by over 59 percent, while their purchasing power was up by 10 percent.
In the past five years, bonuses paid out on top of monthly pensions added up to nearly 900 billion forints (EUR 2.25bn), including a pension bonus of 80,000 forints per person in 2021, Kover said. Seniors also benefit from a thirteenth month’s pension reintroduced in February this year, he added.
“It is our duty to do everything we can to make the days of the elderly more carefree, while we all must be aware of the values seniors have created,”
the speaker said.