The opposition Socialists see room for a 32 percent cut in retail gas prices for households with average consumption, arguing that the significant fall in global energy prices since 2014 would make the price drop possible.
The state-run natural gas trading company has made 51 billion forints (EUR 170m) net by not lowering its price despite falling global prices since 2014, parliamentary group leader Bertalan Tóth told a press conference.
He said the price of natural gas is 14.5 forints per cubic metre more than would have been justified in the recent period, and
the average Hungarian household has been paying an annual 22,000 forints extra accordingly.
If the ruling Fidesz party’s methods were used for reducing gas prices, then the largest saving would be given to the largest consumer. However, the Socialists have prepared a proposal which would enable small consumers to benefit the most.
By utilising the 51 billion forints, small consumers would be paying 32 percent less for the gas used, Tóth said.
He added that the Socialists’ proposal also includes a 10 percent cut in electricity and district heating.
The Socialist group has unanimously supported the proposal and it was submitted to parliament on Thursday, Tóth said.
Fidesz said in response that under the Socialist government, Hungarians paid the highest price for energy within the European Union compared to wages and foreign-owned public utility service providers made profits of 1,000 billion forints.
While these foreign-owned companies took their profits out of Hungary, the Socialist government continually raised public utility fees. Gas prices tripled and electricity prices doubled in the period, the statement said. At the same time, Fidesz has reduced gas, electricity and district heating prices by 25 percent, resulting in average annual saving of 170,000 forints per family.
As we wrote before, according to green opposition LMP, the government will “cement” Hungary’s dependence on Russian energy if it has Russian energy giant Gazprom build the alternative southern natural gas pipeline that will transport gas to Hungary.