The referendums initiated on the introduction of a salary cap for the heads of state-owned companies and making December 24 a public holiday would serve to create a “fairer, more livable Hungary”, the Socialist Party‘s candidate for prime minister said on Tuesday.
It is only natural that the Socialists are supporting the referendum bids on both issues because they aim to establish the broadest coalition among those who want change in Hungary, László Botka told a press conference.
Botka said that if his party regains power, no one in the public sector would be allowed to make more money than the president of the republic. As regards the other referendum bid, he said making December 24 a public holiday would make working people’s lives easier.
He said the aims of both referendums were also in line with his party’s election platform.
The Szeged mayor said the “greatest sin” of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government was that Hungary had become divided while wealth inequality had risen to “extraordinary” levels. Botka said the “upper 10 percent” had nine times the amount of wealth as the poorest 10 percent while forty percent of the population lives below subsistence level.
Gyula Molnár, the Socialist Party’s chairman, said his party was ready to put its “full organisational strength” behind the signature drives for both referendum bids.
Gábor Vágó, former politician of the green opposition LMP party, who initiated the referendum on the introduction of a salary cap, said Hungary must act quickly on its mounting wage tension, arguing that the level of inequality between “the many” and “the elite” was becoming unbearable.
Asked how it could be ensured that the right people are put in charge of state-owned companies after wages are cut, Vago pointed out that managers’ wages were also too high in the private sector. How the state approaches this is “a political question”, he argued.
On Monday, the Socialist, LMP, Dialogue, Együtt and satirical Kétfarkú Kutya (Two-tailed Dog) parties said they would all take part in the signature drive for the referendum initiative aimed at capping the salaries of state company managers.