The European Commission, after criticising the Hungarian government’s prenatal subsidies, has decided to reject the scheme, the government spokesman said on Sunday.
Whenever the government prepares to introduce a subsidy like the prenatal support, it always consults the European Commission beforehand, István Hollik told reporters. The reason for this, he said, was that with the payouts of the subsidies being carried out through banks, the subsidy could be seen as one geared towards the banks.
Hollik said claims that the EC had no issue with the prenatal subsidy were “unfounded”, arguing that the preliminary consultations had been held with the EC’s competition department.
He said the government had also held consultations with the EC prior to introducing the CSOK housing subsidy scheme, which the body eventually approved.
Hollik said the only reason why the commission had not yet launched an investigation into the subsidy was that it could only do so once it enters into effect.
He said the minutes from the consultations with the competition department proved that the EC had raised concerns about the subsidy, adding that if necessary, the government will release them to the public.
The government is committed to launching the support on July 1, he added.
Earlier on Sunday, the EC said it had neither challenged nor investigated the scheme.