Budapest (MTI) – The government should be focusing on solving the housing problems of families in need rather than spending on itself, a lawmaker of the opposition Socialist Party said on Saturday.

The government’s latest scheme for families, the CSOK, promised to give millions to couples who want more children, but with its conditions it cannot help those most in need, Ildikó Bangó Borbély, a member of parliament’s welfare committee, told a press conference. Instead of promoting the CSOK, the government should spend on offering housing support and build social housing. There are 300,000 families which would be eligible for affordable accommodation while the government has pulled out tens of billions of forints from the welfare system, she said.

Bango Borbely said the government’s responses to the needs of people who are unable to pay their mortgages — such as setting up a national asset manager and the institution of family bankruptcy — have not worked. According to the latest central bank data, 144,000 loans are defaulted in Hungary, including some 80,000 where clients also have 80 billion forints worth of outstanding utility bills.

She said the biggest problem is low wages and the government’s failure to reduce the wage gap in the country. A ban on evictions expired on March 1 and the Socialists will submit a bill to parliament asking for a permanent ban on evictions until the government solves the problems.

The ruling Fidesz party said in a statement that the Socialists “have once under their government already attempted to scrap subsidies helping families to buy homes, and their governments were also responsible for pushing foreign currency mortgages onto families”. While Fidesz is in government there will always be schemes to support home creation for families, it said.


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