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Hungary’s recently adopted 2022 budget is a “fata morgana” designed to “benefit one percent” of the population, the opposition Socialist and Párbeszéd parties told an online press conference on Wednesday.

Imre Komjáthi, deputy leader of the Socialist Party, said that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “sees a minimum wage rise on the horizon, but as we are getting closer, it will be more and more obvious that it is merely a delusion”.

Komjáthi called for immediate government assistance to low earners “rather than consultations on a wage hike”, and insisted that “if Orbán had meant it he would have found an opportunity to discuss it in the coordination council which the government scrapped in one of its first measures back in 2010”. The government could have had meaningful talks with unions and employers on a minimum wage rise, but they walked out instead, Komjáthi said.

Sándor Burány, Párbeszéd’s deputy group leader, said that the government “has consistently benefitted the well-off and put burdens on those having a hard life anyway”. “But we think that the budget must be made for the 99 percent,” he said.

Referring to the recent inflation rate of 5 percent, Burány slammed the government for calculating the budget with 3 percent inflation, and said that pensions would only be raised by 3 percent. Under the law, the government will need to compensate the elderly for the difference during the year, but “till then pensioners will be lenders to the state rather than vice versa,” he added.

featured image: Sándor Burány in the Parliament; via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI