Budapest, January 8 (MTI) – The opposition Socialists have accused the government of “dishonesty and theft”, claiming that almost 6 billion forints (EUR 19m) have been diverted from allocations made at the end of last year for free school and nursery meals and family allowances.
A government decree published at the end of last year stated that 3.7 billion forints have been diverted from the allocation for school meals, Socialist member of parliament’s welfare committee Ildiko Borbely told a press conference on Friday.
From this sum, 1.5 billion forints have been spent on building a sports hall in Monor, southeast of Budapest, 2.1 billion forints have been granted to the town of Hodmezovasarhely, in southern Hungary, and 20 million forints to Alcsutdoboz, a village west of Budapest, she said.
Another decree shows that 2.1 billion forints has been siphoned off the allocation for family allowances. From this the economy ministry spent 1.5 billion forints for public procurements and 704 million forints for church events.
Borbely accused the government of “routinely” tapping into meal allocations, saying that 2.6 billion forints were drawn away from meal subsidies for children awarded to local councils at the end of 2014.
The ruling Fidesz said in response that the Socialists when in government did nothing to alleviate child hunger and they allocated insufficient resources for school meals. Furthermore, only a fraction of the allocation was actually paid out, the statement said. The allocation for school meals has increased from 28 billion forints in 2010 to the current 71 billion forints and Hungary is the only European country where 90 percent of children receive three free meals each day, Fidesz said.