The Budapest municipality is launching a utility price support scheme where people with low incomes will be eligible for 48,000 forints (EUR 117) a year, to be deducted from their utility bills, Mayor Gergely Karácsony said in a video posted on Facebook on Wednesday.
Low-income families raising children, people living with disabilities or chronic illness and retirees with their pensions below subsistence level will be eligible for the support, he said. Elderly people whose pensions are below the “real average” pension will be eligible for 24,000 forints annually, he added.
The scheme, Karácsony said, aimed to fulfil his election promise to extend the “social care model” founded in Budapest’s 14th district when he was mayor there.
“Social subsidies would be basically a government task, but now they are busy elsewhere, looking for enemies rather than solutions. Therefore, it is time we stepped up instead,” he said.
The scheme will be launched from October 1, he added.
The Budapest branch of ruling Fidesz said in response that “uncertainties abound” regarding the new Budapest utility support scheme. “The [annual] 20,000 forints pledged three years ago remained an empty promise. The Halozat Foundation … has also failed to disburse a large part of the money to those in need,” Fidesz said.
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