Socialists call for basic public utilities package
The opposition Socialists propose introducing a basic package for public utilities, including water, gas and electricity supplies, to reduce the burden of consumers, lawmaker Ildikó Borbély Bangó said on Monday.
The proposed package would include providing one cubic metre of drinking water at a symbolic fee, plus 15 cubic metres of natural gas and 30 kilowatts of electricity at half of the current price each month, she told a press conference. The package would be made available to all Hungarian citizens at their permanent address, she added.
Criticising ruling Fidesz, Borbély Bangó said that
since public utility service providers were put into state ownership, the government has increased utility prices for at least 1.5 million people.
In 2005 when the world market price of oil was 50 dollars/barrel, the price of natural gas amounted to 50 forints (EUR 0.16) per cubic metre in Hungary. At present, the price of is oil stagnating at 65-70 dollar on the world market but the price of gas is 101 forints in Hungary, she said.
The Socialists’ proposal would allow a 32 percent decrease in the price of gas and a 10 percent decrease in both electricity and district heating prices, the lawmaker said.
Borbély Bangó said the Socialists had repeatedly proposed in parliament to cut utility fees but even ruling Fidesz’s commissioner in charge of reducing public utility fees, Szilárd Németh, had rejected it nine times.