The government will introduce a price cap on electricity in three sectors, Gergely Gulyás, the minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, announced at the Government Info presser earlier today. He said that the price ceiling will be set at €200/megawatt-hour net starting July 1 and will apply to the manufacturing, accommodation, storage and transport sectors.
The minister explained that these are the sectors that have the greatest impact on the performance of the economy and on inflation, as they are productive or production-related activities. He said that the measure affects more than 5,000 businesses and will cost HUF 40 billion.
As part of the action plan to protect the economy, the government has also decided to allow the use of SZÉP cards for groceries. He stressed that from August 1 to December 31 this will be possible without limit, and at the same time, employers will be allowed to increase the maximum amount of their SZÉP card, which is HUF 450,000, by a further HUF 200,000 in line with the preferential rules. He said that in the case of pharmaceutical distribution companies, the government has decided that from July 1 they can deduct half of their extra profit tax if they use it for investment or research and development.
“The war has entered a new phase, the situation will not get easier, but harder,” Gergely Gulyás said, adding that the government's position is that it is in everyone's interest that peace is achieved as soon as possible. According to him, the immediate ceasefire that the Hungarian government is calling for would lead to a reduction in inflation.
Minister Gergely underlined: Hungary openly represents the pro-peace position, but one often gets the feeling that the political elite of the European Union would like to silence it.
Switching to the topic of the country’s finances, Minister Gulyás said that the most important thing is that Hungary has a budget for 2024, which guarantees the country's security. We are dedicating enough resources, for the first time since the change of regime, to meet our NATO commitments: This means that defense spending will account for 2 percent of Hungary's GDP, the minister said.
In response to a question, Gergely Gulyás said that the Hungarian government still believes that the migrant quota is dangerous and would be detrimental to Hungary.
On the issue of EU funds, the minister said the ball is in Brussels' court, as Hungary has fulfilled its commitments. "Hungary has met the last milestone as confirmed by the EC, so we can send invoices to the European Commission in early July. But it is a matter of political choice when they will summon up the courage to legally give the money to the Hungarians, despite the scheming of Hungarian opposition politicians in the EP,” he said.
Commenting on US Ambassador David Pressman’s speech at Budapest Pride, Gulyás said that “Hungary is a free country where everyone can say whatever they want.”