Speaking this morning on Kossuth Rádió’s morning program “Good morning, Hungary,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that in Hungary, contrary to other countries in Europe that were not “ravaged” by first the Germans and then the communists, pensions are paid from taxes. “The view that we are financially maintaining pensioners is a complete misunderstanding, as they were the ones that put us through school, brought us up and made us able to work,” PM Orbán said, adding that there is a law in place in Hungary that stipulates that whenever the economy performs above a certain level, pension premiums must be paid to pensioners.
“In November, we will pay out 80,000 forints for pensioners in pension premiums,” the prime minister said. According to him, the government is committed to correcting the “sins” of the Gyurcsány era. “We have already fixed the problem of high unemployment and raised the minimum wage. Beginning next January, the minimum wage will exceed the level of the average wage during the Gyurcsány-Bajnai governments,” PM Orbán said.
The third error that still has to be corrected is the reintroduction of 13th month pensions, which will take place gradually, with pensioners receiving two weeks’ worth of extra pension payments in January.
“Economic growth will almost certainly exceed 5.5 percent this year,” PM Orbán stated, explaining that this means that a total of 1.9 million Hungarians will get back the entire amount of their personal income tax payments by mid-February, up to the tax value for the average wage.
Commenting on the massive natural gas price hikes in Western Europe, Prime Minister Orbán said that “political criticism must not be tied to energy supply; we had to make a deal with the Russians.” The prime minister highlighted that today, natural gas is the cheapest in Hungary within the European Union, and electricity is the second cheapest.
“If we aligned utility prices to the prices on the global market, families would have to pay 32,000 forints more on a monthly basis, on average,” Prime Minister Orbán said.
On border protection and the importance of a strong, national army PM Orbán observed that as “we are living in an age filled with dangers,” and we cannot build an effective military force from one day to the next, continuous development in the sector remains vital.
“We received very little support from Brussels for border protection,” the prime minister said, adding that repelling the pressure on the Hungarian borders is a burden we have to bear alone. In the case of Lithuania, the PM continued, the EU is helping out with the construction of a border fence there, so such support must apply to Hungary, too.
“The costs that we bear in order to protect the West should be acknowledged,” PM Orbán said in closing.