Budapest (MTI) – The opposition Socialists have suggested a centralised system of purchasing fruits and vegetables grown “behind the house” to help people living in small villages to a modest income, Socialist politicians told a press conference on Saturday.
The proposed system would be a better answer to the problems of poverty in rural areas than spending billions of forints on government plans to move some of the ministries to the provinces, Gabor Harangozo said.
The Socialists have also proposed that people in those areas could be employed in cooperatives, Harangozo said, and insisted that “meaningful” jobs could be ensured to 100,000 people, with their wages paid entirely from European Union programmes.
Ildiko Bango Borbely demanded that the government should use the central budget allocation to ensure free meals for needy children for its original purpose in its entirety, rather than spending a large portion of those funds to finance the Klebelsberg school manager, as it did in 2014.
Referring to survey figures indicating a significant increase in poverty in 2014, Bango insisted that the “corrupt” government had started a “war against the poor, families, children, the defenceless and the needy”.
In a statement, ruling Fidesz said in reaction to the Socialist proposals that the government’s measures had been aimed “to give a helping hand” to people living in deep poverty. Even the poorest are now provided jobs and can earn salaries rather than having to live on benefits, while the children of poor families are given free meals and free school books, the document said.
The statement also noted that families with children could save a total 230 billion forints in 2015 through family tax benefits, while those benefits would double in the next few years.