Budapest, August 7 (MTI) – Food prices will go up unless the government changes its system of agricultural subsidies, the Socialist opposition said.

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Back in December 2013, Prime Minister Viktor Orban had “nodded without as much as a whimper” to Hungary losing half a billion euros of its EU agricultural subsidies in the next seven-year funding period, Tibor Szanyi, a Socialist MEP, told a press conference today. This is why the government decided to take away EU subsidies from farms exceeding 1,200 hectares in size without any compensation, Szanyi added. Most of the farms affected are farming associations made up of hundreds of small producers working in labour-intensive animal husbandry.

The Socialists propose that farms should get compensation for the funding taken away in proportion to the salaries they pay out to farmers, he said, adding that the proposal will be submitted to the European Parliament in September.

Unless these steps are taken, food prices, and especially the price of meat, can go up by as much as 30 percent, Szanyi said.

He added that the Socialists have kept on the agenda a motion to reduce the VAT on basic foods to 5 percent.



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