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Hungary’s opposition parties have promised to reform the country’s system of disability pensions if they win next year’s general election.

The new government will compensate disability pensioners for any support they were deprived of following changes to the system in 2012, representatives of the parties told an online press conference on Wednesday.

Under an amendment approved by parliament earlier in the day, disability pensioners whose pension decreased following the 2012 reform are eligible for one-off compensation of 500,000 forints (EUR 1,400).

The opposition criticised the amendment, saying it was “a step in the right direction but not enough”.

Democratic Coalition MP Zoltán Varga called the compensation a “down payment”, which he said would be increased if the opposition came into power.

Jobbik deputy leader Róbert Dudás said the compensation was “nowhere near enough” to make up for the support disabled people had missed out on over the last nine years under the 2012 disability pension rules.

LMP’s Erzsébet Schmuck said disability pensioners should be given five times as much compensation as what they had received. She said the funds could be made available for increased compensation by scrapping certain “luxury investments” like the Liget project, the hunting expo, and the construction of Hungary’s MotoGP racetrack.

Anett Csordás of Momentum and the C8 civil group said disabled people should be compensated retroactively with interest for their losses in government support.

Socialist (MSZP) Party MP Lajos Korózs also said the 500,000 forint compensation was not enough to offset the “financial and psychological damage” caused by the 2012 disability pension reform.

Párbeszéd’s Bence Tordai accused ruling Fidesz of trying to use the compensation money to “buy the votes of those who have lost millions due to the system’s reform”.

featured image: Erzsébet Schmuck in the parliament;illustration via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI

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